Aol.|Mail|Click here to return to

Digital Life

Build your own phone with Phonebloks

Phonebloks is a new concept for cell phones that lets you pick-and-mix your handset's components and upgrade them separately, one at a time. Need a better camera? Swap out the camera block and keep the rest of the mobile intact. Want extra battery life? Install a bigger power module and take out some of the more minor features. For the moment, Phonebloks is just an idea. Developer Dave Hakkens is encouraging anyone interested to join the Phonebloks Thunderclap (which works like Kickstarter, minus the funding part). If there's enough momentum behind the project, it could become reality with the right backing, and at this time the project has already surpassed its supporters goal.

The benefits of Phoneblocks are two-fold: first, it gives you greater flexibility when configuring your mobile (you could choose between a Nikon and Canon camera, for example). Second, upgrading your phone is kinder on the environment and your wallet -- there's no need to throw away the entire handset every couple of years.

"The market of electronic devices is growing rapidly, but it feels like we are building disposable stuff," says Dave Hakkens. "Every time we make something new we completely throw away the old one. Imagine all the good displays, bluetooths and speakers we have thrown away. I love the connected world that we live in and it's time to set up a universal modular platform that companies work on together."

For updates on the project, keep your eyes on Dave's Twitter feed or the Phonebloks Facebook page.