Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Smartphone that last and last

Phonebloks is about to design a smartphone that will last for ever. It is a smartphone idea which seeks to cater the problem of global electronic waste (e-waste). Dave Hakkens came up with this idea which has been widely endorsed by celebrities and many other important people.

It offers users the opportunity to upgrade parts or in other words bloks instead of replacing the whole phone. Phones where not designed to last for long, like every other device, they usually get old and become worn out. If one of the components is broken, we usually change the entire phone.  Then there are times when your phone is outdated and you just need to get a new phone to keep up with the changing trend. So where do the old phones go? They add up to the electronic waste.  Just like HakKens said "I don't like the direction electronics are heading. They get more disposable and get a shorter life with every model. This gives a lot of e-waste."

It has been estimated by Greenpeace that global e-waste amounts to between 20 and 50 million tons a year. Put into perspective, they say that quantity of waste, loaded onto container trains, would stretch all the way around the world.

Hakken says "The idea is to set up a platform which, if used correctly, can reduce the amount of waste significantly," 
The idea of the phone is to replace the components that are affected by replacing detachable bloks when a component fails to work while retaining the device's basic frame. Perhaps your screen is damaged, or wifi, Bluetooth stops working or needs to be upgraded you just change the blok with a new blok.

At the moment, Phonebloks is not yet even in the development stage. Hakkens is taking his time to build an online support for the concept using the "crowd-speaking" platform called Thunderclap.