Google’s Project Ara smartphone project, which incorporates the swappable modules championed by Phonebloks, is inviting entries into a competition to create modules ‘that would be used daily, and for something you can’t do with a smartphone today’.
Now, we at Epicentre aren’t developers so our chances of even entering this contest is pretty much nil, but we do have a wishlist, of sorts:
- Automatic semi-colon lock-out mechanism. Anyone wishing to use their phone for writing anything other than informal texts will be given a quiz on the proper use of semi-colons. If they fail (and they all will, because no-one knows how to use semi-colons… no-one), they’re issued with a mandatory module that, in the event of semi-colon abuse, instantly locks the user out of the phone for a period of five minutes, giving them time to think about what they’ve done. Helpful grammar rules will scroll across the screen until the time-out is over. (Please do this for Macs and PCs too – thank you.)
- Lasers. That’s right, we want phones with laser beams attached to their cases.
- Transformers. This is the obvious one – let’s make modular phones that can transform into other things but be non-functional as those things. For example, a truck, a plane, a Walkman, the Pentagon or a Happy Meal (it’d be like having a burger phone!). Also, let’s just put this out here: Rubik’s Cube.
- Night vision. So we could aim our lasers at night, obviously.
- Drone phone. There are loads of apps that help you find your phone by prompting it to make an obnoxious noise or sending a GPS signal, but why not create a module that will remotely fly your phone to you? Watch it soar straight from a mugger’s hand back into your own. That way you don’t even have to leave the sofa, thereby ensuring safe return of your valuable goods and contributing to the western world’s obesity problem in one go.
Being generous souls, we’re making this stellar list of concepts available, free of charge, to anyone who’d like to realise them. Go for it!