Phonebloks is a revolutionary idea to solve the problem of disposable electronics or in this case phone. The problem is mainly that as soon as one part breaks we tend to toss the entire unit since repairs are costly or it’s a good time for an upgrade.
As the project’s tag line says, Phonebloks are designed to be “a phone worth keeping.” The phones are designed to last because all the components are detachable, replaceable, upgradeable, moveable blocks that plug into a solid board. It’s kind of like a Lego phone. You can have a camera or not, or get a souped-up camera; give yourself a bigger battery or more memory if you need it; or ditch the Bluetooth and go big on speakers. It’s entirely up to you, and what the user community creates.
Dave Hakkens is a visionary designer. While the phones aren’t slick looking, the concept is highly appealing. They’ve produced a polished video that does a great sell job. Phonebloks is meant to be open source and crowdfunded. As for Nov. 4, 2013, they have just shy of 1 million supporters and 381,823,577 people are following the project for updates.
They do have, however, a relationship with Motorola. Motorola’s in-house engineers had been working on a modular phone concept so the two have teamed up and Motorola has agreed, according to Phonebloks’s website, to develop the phone platform in the open. That in itself is quite revolutionary, but still far from a phone that works.
This could be a game-changer for the electronics industry—or just a game better handled by the folks at Lego. Keep an eye open for updates.