In September 2013, a concept video about a modular smart phone from PhoneBloks went viral on social media. The idea was simple. Every year a huge amount of electronics is wasted since a newer version of gadget comes in the market. So, why not build a smart phone that has interchangeable modules? For example: If you are a photographer you can upgrade the camera or maybe you want more battery as you are travelling. PhoneBloks achieved its target of gathering people on social media to show investors that the idea is worth to spend their money on. It turns out as in-house development on a similar concept, carried out by Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) Group by the name of Project Ara. ATAP is the only part of Motorola that was kept by Google after it announced to sell Motorola.
This conceptual smart phone is composed of detachable blocks for touch screen, Wi-Fi, bluetooth, gyroscope, battery, speed, audio jack, antenna and storage. All these would be connected to a base which is the brain of this smart phone linking all things together. You can swipe out any module at any time. If your processing is slow, you can replace the speed module with more processing power.
Google’s focus is to provide a low initial cost of $50 to customers as part of their advertisement plan. So that the users could try it out before investing further in its modules. The cost would increase with the modular addition afterwards. The $50 version would consist of all basic necessities of a smart phone. This smart phone would come in three different sizes from 4.5 – 5.5 inch.
The open source modular smartphone is the Android of hardware. With the product commercially available in early next year, we would see new innovative blocks for the phone. We might just have a Google store for the modules where developers could sell their own modules. Your smart phone can now become anything at any time.