A few times a year, some new smartphone comes out that makes us fall all over ourselves in amazement. How we ever lived without this new device becomes a mystery, and the hunk of absolute crap we've been toting around for the last six months immediately becomes offensive to our eyes.
So we do what any sensible person would do: hurl our current phone in the nearest estuary and stake out the neighborhood electronics store for days on end until our new prize is finally in our hands. In six months we'll do it all over again, too. But it doesn't have to be this way. Designer Dave Hakkens has come up with an idea that could keep us all on the cutting edge of technology without having to throw out thousands of expensive and (let's be honest) perfectly good smartphones every year.
The concept is called Phonebloks, and it's a modular, easily upgradeable smartphone system that could withstand the test of time. Think of a device that's made up of high-tech Lego blocks, each of which lends a specific functionality to the base unit. Replacing broken elements, a cracked screen for example, would be a simple one-minute DIY — as would upgrading old parts. You could also configure your Phoneblok to meet your specific needs, whether that's longer battery life, a faster processor or a massive camera.
In theory, the Phonebloks system could endure for years and years, never becoming irrelevant. In reality, however, things might not be so simple — especially for the people tasked with creating the "bloks" themselves. Developers from all across the tech world would have to adhere to a single design infrastructure. That's something that everybody under the Sun has fought against whenever possible. After all, if you have the option of choosing whether you want a Marshall speaker or a Sony one, Sony isn't gonna get 100 percent of that market share.
On top of that, every network in the world relies upon the money generated by our consumerist urges. If we break our contract because we simply must have the iPhone 5s, we're paying our carrier extra to get it. If sales of new phones dry up, those extra fees dry up too. It's awesome for us as consumers, but it totally shatters the profit margins of the major players in the smartphone market. If we're to see Phonebloks in our future we're really gonna have to force them into the market. Dave Hakkens knows it, too. So if you think a modular, upgradeable smartphone is worth having check out Dave's video below. You can also voice your support here.