Recently, Facebook has just filed a patent application for a modular electromechanical device that includes a phone, GPS, microphone, speaker, and touch display. The device is just like a plug-and-play smartphone. Means several different components on a single device.
Google has also in taken interest in this smartphone. Even Google itself made one unsuccessful attempt to bring its Project Ara smartphone to market. Project Ara was hoping to revolutionize the way the components of your next smartphone would communicate with each other, offering you an option to upgrade only parts of your phone. But unfortunately, the project never got past the prototyping stage.
Now some members of the Project Ara, are working at Facebook’s Building 8. Building 8 is a research lab to develop hardware projects in the style of DARPA.
This modular electromechanical device includes a chassis and a plurality of functional modules with different functionality. The functionality relies on various attributes including the functionality of different functional modules, their sequence, attachment structures or a pattern of traces formed within the chassis.
The inventors noted, “the device could work as the phone, or it could work more like Amazon’s Alexa does in terms of its music speaker function. In addition, the components of millions of connected devices could be loaded with various kinds of software as pieces are swapped out.”
“Typically, the hardware components included in the consumer electronics that are considered ‘outdated’ are still useable. However, the hardware components can no longer be reused since consumer electronics are designed as closed systems. From a consumer perspective, the life cycle of conventional consumer electronics is expensive and wasteful.”