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Phonebloks: a Modular Phone to Build Yourself

Every year, mobile phones are responsible for a huge part of electronic waste. The reason behind this is pretty simple: most of the phones aren't build to last. A year or two after you bought them, eventually one of the components will fail or your phone won't be powerful enough anymore, which is normal. What isn't normal is that when this happens, you can't really replace the faulty component. Because of this, the whole phone gets thrown away, with most of its components still working.

Phone waste

That's where Phonebloks comes in, which is a really interesting project. The idea is to build your phone yourself with the components you need. To achieve that, you'll have to buy a plate that'll serve as a base to your phone. You can then buy different modules, called 'bloks' (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, battery, gyroscope, etc.), that are to be connected to the back of the plate as well as a screen to connect at the front. Once all the components are in place, there are just 2 screws to tighten at the bottom to lock everything in place.

You'll have a choice between different constructors for each type of blok, which you'll be able to buy and sell on the Blokstore. There will also be an optional subscription system, which will get a new blok to your door every now and then and enable you to send the old one back.


Therefore, if one of your components eventually breaks, you can just replace it with a new one fairly easily. The same goes if your phone becomes too slow: just replace the part responsible for the slowness. You'll notice that the phone isn't the most beautiful thing in the world, but let's not forget two things. First, it's only a concept and second, there will certainly be a case to put over the components.

Phonebloks exploded view

For this project to go live, the industry has to see a lot of people are interested. That's why you should support the project on Thunderclap by letting it access your Twitter and/or Facebook account. On October 29, all the tweets and Facebook posts will be sent at the same time. At the time I wrote this, the project is supported by a total of 312,307 people in less than 72 hours. While writing this post, 6,000 new people supported the project.


The inventor of this prototype thinks of adapting this to create tablets, digital cameras, etc., given the project goes live one day.

This project is way more than promising. I really hope I'll see it go live one day. There's a lot of potential, given the tremendous support. Last but not least, here's the presentation video:

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