Phonebloks a concept introduced about 3 years ago propagated the idea of amodular smartphone. Switching components will be a piece of cake. Google’s project Ara has ambitious modular hardware plans.
Otterbox apopular, rugged-case-maker has new plans in mind. It’s Universe Case System, available today, offers over a dozen modules that can imbue any recent-model iPhone with powers that range from more storage to better battery life, to photographic enhancements, to Predator vision. Even though the case resembles a standard ultra-protective enclosure a cutout section from the bottom middle part will slide out to make space for partner modules.
Tom Smith, Otterbox VP of Innovationsaid, “They are held to a compliance standard, we want to make sure that when the consumer buys a Universe case and a Universe module, they have the same protection experience when the whole thing is put together”. The important aspect of adding a Universe Case System is durability and Otterbox kept that in mind.
“The spirit of this was to put together an open platform. There is plenty of opportunities for startups to latch onto a larger platform to promote their products” says Smith.
The Universe system’s biggest innovation, though, might be the realization that we’ve been thinking about modularity all wrong. Or at least, incomplete.
Even though LG G5 announced this year is the first major smartphone to embrace modularity. Making the smartphone modular can be limiting. Google’s Project Araseems more promising, but its team has also found the task of creating a truly modular device more daunting than it first thought. Its consumer level appearance is yet due and not expected to release anytime this year.
All this said it is not wrong to accept that modular phone will revolutionize the smartphone market, but Otter box’s Universe case is here already to revolutionize the use of asmartphone.