Remember how much fun you used to have playing with Legos as a kid? We do, and apparently Motorola remembers as well, and they don’t want the fun to end. Developers at Motorola have been working to develop a free, open platform for smartphone customization. But unlike their competitors, they are focusing on the hardware, not the software. Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group recently met with Dave Hakkens, who invented something called phonebloks.
The concept of phonebloks works a lot like building a house with Legos. You can build your house ten blocks high, or you can build it twenty, you can decide how many windows you want, and you can decide if a chimney really is necessary. Instead of windows and chimneys though, you have cameras, processors, batteries, and so much more.
Each phoneblok has a base which all other parts attach to, kind of like Lego furniture snapping onto the floor of a house, and users can customize each individual part of the phone. If someone regularly uses their phone to take pictures or videos, they would purchase a higher quality camera, or if long battery life is their thing, they would be able to install a larger battery. Each part fits together like lego blocks, snapping in to the base piece of the phone.
Since each part of the phone is its own physical piece, developers say this will help cut down on how often people need to replace their phones. Instead of a new phone every year or two, this idea would allow consumers to update each piece individually, but the base phone would stay the same. Users could purchase subscriptions, and when the latest part is released they just trade in their old piece. This way they could still get the latest upgrades for their phones, but they wouldn’t need to change phone cases, cables, or docking stations. But even better then never having to replace phone accessories would be the universal aspect of this type of technology.
This universal aspect is a huge selling point for iPhones in today’s market. If your iPhone breaks, it isn’t too difficult to find someone who will fix it. (But Computer Repair Doctor is definitely the best!) If you lose your charger, one of your friends is bound to have an extra. Because of the sheer number of iPhones, any problem you can encounter has already been discovered and someone knows how to fix it.
Not only would fixing problems be significantly easier, but the consumer would also be able to choose exactly what they wanted in their phone. If the phonebloks idea becomes a reality, every company would be making their own parts for it. You could choose between a Nikon camera or a Cannon, you could choose the companies you wish to support, and still have the latest updates.
So far it isn’t clear whether or not Motorola’s Project Ara will be exactly like Dave Hakkens’ phonebloks, but the idea of customizable hardware is a new thing in the smartphone industry. In the past the smart phone market has been watching Apple, but lately their products have become less and less revolutionary. Maybe Motorola’s idea of customizable hardware will become the next big thing in smart phones. Maybe we will all be back to building houses out of Legos. Until that day arrives however, keep coming to Computer Repair Doctor with all your smartphone related needs.