Netherlands-based designer Dave Hakkens has created Phonebloks, a concept phone that, rather than being one solid piece, is made of modular blocks for each component. Not only are the environmental implications exciting, but it could also mean a phone that can be completely customized to meet an individual’s needs.
The screen, battery, antennae, processor, and storage are just some of the components that can currently be swapped out. So if one part breaks, you don’t need to buy an entirely new phone, just the piece that needs replacing. This means there could be less phones headed to the landfill every year because of a fault that may be minor, but too costly, or complicated to fix compared with buying a new phone.
Apart from the environmental aspect, Hakkens’ concept could mean a phone that is made just for you. For example, if you do everything using cloud-based services, you can swap out your storage block for a larger battery block. Or, you could install a more powerful lens if your phone acts more like a camera than it does a communication device.
While still just a concept, Hakkens is trying to build support for the idea via the Phonebloks site, along with a campaign on Thunderclap. It seems the idea has attracted so much support that the website’s servers cannot handle the traffic anymore – a sure sign that something like this could take off.