Assemble your own smart phone .pdf


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Assemble your own smart phone!

Recently a video clip called Phonebloks has gotten really popular among social media. Published on YouTube one
month ago, it has reached 100 million views within the first 24 hours. It has been also commented by many famous
YouTube critics.
So why is the Phonbloks so popular? And what exactly is it?
The basic concept of Phonebloks is a phone made of detachable blocks. Different functions of a smartphone (e.g.
keyboard, battery, storage, camera…) are designed into separate blocks enabling users to connect their favorite blocks
to the base in order to assemble a unique and customized smartphone. For instance if you love hiking and taking photos,
you can plug in an HD camera block with a flashlight, or if the phone seems to be a little slow when you play games ,
you can just buy some blocks to enhance the processor performance. Phonebloks are built on an open platform where
different companies work together to produce variable functional modules.
The Phonebloks is not only created to meet the customers’ demands but also aimed to protect our earth. Nowadays the
electronic waste has become the fastest growing municipal waste stream in the world, 20 to 50 million metric tons of
e-waste are disposed worldwide every year. No doubt mobile phones are one of the biggest causes because of their
super short lifecycle, only 18 months in developed countries. Last year the quantity of mobile phones sold has reached
1.75 billion units. So most of them will be discarded 2 years later, it’s hard for us to even imagine how much space it
will take after piling them up together. Furthermore, most of the wasted mobile phones cannot be recycled and are
discarded in landfills or incinerators, which can release certain toxics to pollute the air.
However due to the fast development of e-technology, we have to admit that all e-devices are originally designed to last
short. For wasted e-devices, actually most parts of them still work fine but just one or two of the components cause the
real problem. With the Phonebloks, we just need to change certain parts of the phone when they are damaged or
outdated, instead of buying a whole new phone. On the other hand, it will also be much easier to recycle the
functionalized block modules. If we recycle one million cell phones, 35274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75
pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium will be recovered.
Last month Motorola has posted on its official blog a new project called Ara, of which the idea is similar to Phonbloks.
It turned out that actually Motorola has already worked on this conception for more than one year. Since the two teams
(Motorola and Phonebloks) have the common vision on future smartphones, they are now working together and trying
their best to make the dream come true. As we all know, Motorola has been dedicated to producing phones for over
forty years and in 2011 it was just purchased by Google – the most innovative company in the world. If they can stick
to this project and have enough capital investment on R&D, this concept is sure to be realized one day just like the
Google Glass and the Samsung Gear Watch. It will create tides in the worldwide market to produce the new generation
of eco-friendly smartphones.

Andy PAN

13/11/2013

References:
1. http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/29/motorola-wants-to-make-modular-smartphones-a-reality-with-project-ara/
2. http://motorola-blog.blogspot.fr/2013/10/goodbye-sticky-hello-ara.html
3. https://phonebloks.com/
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skXwTxo0Bo0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUBJycsmduvYEL83R_U4JriQ
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_waste
6. http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2335616
7. http://www.dosomething.org/actnow/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-e-waste
8. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/toxics/electronics/the-e-waste-problem/


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