Phonebloks is an idea. A mobile phone that can be configured, upgraded and repaired. No one is making it yet, but a campaign for its existence is about to launch… a thunderclap (https://www.thunderclap.it/) is planned for 29 October.
Certainly, having a phone like that would cut down electronic waste in landfills and recycling bins. It would also be fun to be able to configure your phone to your personal needs, simply by changing one or more of its components. And the best thing is, the concept for this is open source. It’s not a phone company doing this in a closed way. It is an idea that you can help make real to phone components manufacturers. It is changing the way things are made by demanding change…
Digital Trends says in an article: “The whole venture is very Maker-inspired and will appeal to Do-It-Yourselfers and hardcore phone geeks. Consumers will be able to buy pre-made phones or assemble their own, blok by blok, using components found in the Blokstore. Here, both large and small hardware makers will get the chance to sell you components ranging from processors and internal storage to cameras and speakers. It’s akin to an app store, not just because of consumer choice but because anyone will be able to make hardware bloks. The entire platform is open source.”
Actually, the idea is larger than just a phone. It is to change how things are made so they can be repaired when needed, don’t have to be thrown away because a part has gone bad.
True, the phone does not exist yet – only the idea does. There is a dedicated site you can go to, to find out how to help to make it a reality. See more about it at http://www.phonebloks.com/
Of course there are others who think this isn’t a good idea. One person arguing against such a way of building phones is John Brownlee who published an article titled Why Lego Design Principles Don’t Work On Smartphones
Check that one out if you want to see both sides of the argument. Somehow I have the feeling Brownlee is arguing the case of the current phone makers who would of course be reluctant to get into making “only” modules…