MindBullets 20 Years


Modular devices open horizons to a new 'mofone' world

How ‘phones’ have changed! Even the smart handsets of a few years ago look like toys by today’s standards. Our mobile communicators are now completely modular, which enables us to customize them and turn them into an endless array of useful, interesting and often just plain bizarre mega-devices.

Some people are jokingly calling it the “Legofone”, or the “mofone” and that’s exactly the idea. It’s a basic smartphone ‘skeleton’ onto which you can simply clip hundreds of devices. Want a 3D scanner on your phone? No problem. How about a blood testing device for diabetics? Done. Still smoking, even in today’s anti-tobacco world? Why not clip on a cigarette lighter?

“Your phone has become the heart of a gadget eco-system,” says tech entrepreneur Ashwin Moodley. “No more updating your phone when you want the latest camera. Just unplug the old one, trade it in and buy the latest supermodel! Today’s users keep arrays of devices and often rebuild their phone depending on where they’re going to next. Off to the country this weekend? Don’t forget the binocular plug-in, as well as the anti-mosquito digital coil.”

And who was behind it all? Why, Google, of course. Their Project Ara set out to completely disrupt the handset market – and boy, have they achieved just that! People are now keeping their basic handsets much longer, and simply updating the plugins. Handset manufacturers are scrambling to hang onto dwindling market shares.

And Google has spawned an entirely new ‘App’ economy, by opening the system to developers around the globe. So now, in addition to digital apps you can download, the new apps are actual physical plug-and-play devices for your modular communicator, available just everywhere.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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