A new Finnish startup called Circular Devices is taking the Project Ara concept and running with it. Known as Puzzlephone, the idea is to allow users to replace parts at will, giving their phone the power of infinite life rather than needing a replacement every one or two (or three) years. Today’s super phones are more powerful and longer-lasting than they’ve ever been, but the designers of Puzzlphone say its new concept is capable of lasting up to 10 years.
The Puzzlephone concept is built around three modules: the spine, heart and brain. The heart, as you’d imagine, is the battery portion of the device, while the brain is the processor and camera. The spine, meanwhile, is everything else; the LCD monitor, casing, speakers and microphone—the place where all the sensors and components that can’t easily be replaced live. The plan right now is for the Puzzlephone to run a forked version of Android.
With interchangeable parts that can be easily replaced, the options are limitless; you can opt for a larger battery one day, and a beefier brain the next. It all depends on what you need. The modularity allows users to create the exact device they want for a given situation. And whenever newer components come out, you’ll be able to change your phone up as you see fit, hence the ten-year promise. It’s not quite as modular as Google’s Project Ara concept, but the end goal is the same.
Circular Devices says we’ll start seeing shipped products sometime next year, which sounds a little ambitious to us. It’ll probably be awhile before we even see Project Ara become commercially available, so we’re not holding our breath for Puzzlephone just yet. Still, it looks like the company has the groundwork all setup. Now it’s just a matter of delivering a working product.