RePhone is a new modular DIY mobile phone kit. The creators of it describe it as the next ‘Renaissance’ of the phone industry. We’ll let others be the judge of that, but it is a fascinating product concept, especially in a period of time where the design of our products is coming under increasing scrutiny.

Licensed under CC - credit Flickr user: Andrew Magill
Licensed under CC – credit Flickr user: Andrew Magill

The basic idea is that you order a kit, which gives you everything you need to build your own phone. The core is a GSM module (effectively a computer chip), to which you attach a touch screen, basic sensors and combinations of tiny modules that provide your phone with some of the typical mobile device capabilities.

The modularity appears to be simple to connect and disconnect and there are a number of options to create a phone that looks unique on the outside too.

RePhone can also integrate with IFTTT (simple Internet of Things technology) and connect to software libraries like Arduino IDE, Lua and Javascript. Specific apps can be developed using the RePhone tech itself, though it is designed with an emphasis on being user friendly for coding novices.

RePhone itself may not enter the mass consumer market, most people don’t have the desire or know-how to build their own phone, even using a kit like this one. However, it’s an innovation worth taking note of for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the same modularity employed in the phone might points towards future phone design that better maximises the reuse of valuable components. Secondly, it suggests a way of doing something new and something different, it has potential to inspire the re-thinking of an extremely successful form of electronics.

Finally, it’s not all about phones. RePhone provides a tool by which just about anything could be given cellular capabilities. The growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) concept could be enhanced by a larger part of the population feeling empowered and engaging with the creation of IoT connected devices.

Source: A Modular Phone For Makers

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