These days, when something goes wrong with your new iPhone (hey, or Samsung Galaxy, we’re not judging), we’re forced to throw the entire thing to trash and buy a new one. And the saddest part is that, usually, it’s only one or two pieces of hardware that are causing all the issues, like you camera getting blurry, or your web browser taking too long due to phone’s limited RAM. But hey, after all, what else is there to do? We can’t change just the camera, or keep the phone, but simply replace the existing processor with the faster version.
But what if you could do just that? What if you could change only that specific part of the hardware that no longer works, and keep using the rest of the phone, which is still completely functional anyway? Well, that’s the crazy idea behind PhoneBlock, a concept phone that you can ‘build’ using a bunch of blocks, sort of like a phone made of Lego’s. Each block contains a part of the phone’s hardware, such as a battery, Wi-Fi, camera, or the screen, and is completely autonomous and separate from the others. All cubicles are attached together to a single board, and if one of them malfunctions, you simply take it off the board, buy a new one, and stick it back with the rest of the blocks.
Apart from the fact that it would largely decrease the amount of technological waste that keeps getting bigger each year, if this idea goes mainstream, it would introduce a whole new method of customizing your phone. Do you primarily use your phone for work, and don’t really play with the features like camera or games? Buy a bigger processor and memory module, and ditch the lenses. If you hate having to charge your phone couple of times each day, opt for a bigger battery, and get a smaller RAM ‘block’.
The idea has already rallied over half a million supporters on thunderclap.it, and if it takes off, it could spell big trouble for cell phone giants like Apple and Samsung, probably causing them to rethink their entire marketing approach, and start over from scratch. But for the rest of us, it would mean more freedom than we’ve ever had with a phone.