I like ideas. I love ideas. If you know me, you know I don’t shut up about them. I take them seriously, and hope that the right ideas can change the world.
Enter Phonebloks. Phonebloks is a jawdroppingly terrible idea by a hipcool dude about the biggest problem in the world today, early childhood education in the developing world… wait no. Cell phones. Its about cell phones. Snap together your own cell phone with interchangeable parts.
What makes this so bad?
1) It would cost more. Individual precision machined enclosures? CA-CHing. Ask Lego about tolerances. There is a reason Lego ain’t cheap. Imagine that in metal.
2) Battery life would be God-Awful. Why? Because of the overhead needed to manage the disastrously inefficient interconnects between devices.
3) It worsens the problem it intended to solve, mainly, it INCREASES WASTE. Right now, Every three years or so, I replace my cell phone. Now I am going to be encouraged to replace bits of my phone constantly. Each of those things have to be shipped to a store, or shipped to my home.
4) Nobody (Less than 20% of people) wants to build their own anything anymore. Apple taught us that. They want it sealed up so they can get on facegramblr and crush their candy bird ninjas. Is he really suggesting a return to the Build-Your-Own-PC days?
5) Compatibility. USB works because it is a simple bus. I think this guy is under the impression that everything can be plug and play. It… can’t. Android already has fragmentation on the software and hardware- now we are going to worsen that because Tristan needs more room for his MP3s?
6) It… won’t work. I’m sorry but I have to say it again. Things have to be arranged a certain way or they won’t work.
I honestly could go on forever, but I know what you’re thinking. You Bastard. You heartless, soulless, stick in the mud. This special boy, this nascent genius has given us mana from heaven and you mock him without a suggestion of your own.
Ok, here is my suggestion.
1) Cloud Processing. Improve the wireless network in this country so that “Heavy Lifting” can be done by severs on the back end. I know it doesn’t look as cool as a lego phone, but it could actually work. Want a faster phone for a week? Pay for more cycles.
2) Cloud Storage. Once your network is back, local phone storage does not even need to be an issue.
3) Better screen materials.
4) Better Batteries. The new ones charge in seconds and last days. Should make this problem completely moot.
5) Sell your old electronics to create a healthy secondary market to reduce the “Cheaper Model” trend (Plastic iPhones, I’m looking at you)
SO, your phone doesn’t go obsolete as fast and you can use it longer. You take care of your phone so when you DO replace it- the old one doesn’t get into a landfill. I know what you are thinking “How will I upgrade my Bluetooth Module” Actually, you weren’t thinking that- nobody is thinking that- which is why this is a stupid idea.