If you didn’t know what a modular phone was before MWC 2016, you sure as heck do now. LG made a splash in the mobile tech world with its LG G5, which has a modular design. This was big, as it’s really the first commercially available mobile device to have that design. Two new patents granted to Google suggest that they are jumping onto the modular design train followng LG – but that’s not the full story. A few years ago, Google embarked on a project called &Project Ara,& a project that was meant to put modular technology into people’s hands, but it had a few road blocks which delayed it. The delay was due to some issues with how the moduels would connect to the phone. But it seems that the problem was resolved and Google is ready to push forward and give us their take on modular design some time this year.
From the pictures, it looks like the phone will have the modules on the back, rather than on the bottom in the case of the G5. The attatchments would look like small blocks you’d insert via sliding. This leaves multiple options for modules that can be inserted along side each other; on the 3D rendering (top image), one of the modules look to house the USB port, which leaves one to imagine if it’ll be possible to switch from Mirco USB to USB type C. Other modules could include camera sensors, batteries, RAM and other essentials, who knows what else?!
With the launch of the G5, we might be at the forefront of a whole new chapter in smartphone technology. It’s hard to tell for certain at this point, but the fact that we potentially have another modular phone a few steps down the road, (one with a radically different design at that), reinfoces that theory. As with all rumors, these start the waiting game that we in the tech world play everyday in anticipation of the next big thing after the next big thing. So the game is on to see what we have to expect from the next modular phone.