Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Thunderclaps and Phonebloks

This is a lovely idea: Phonebloks
In an attempt to stem the tide of electronic waste, a guy  in the Netherlands called Dave Hakkens has developed the idea of a phone that is made up of optional modular blocks. This allows the user to pick and choose the different elements that are important to them in a mobile device e.g. a better camera, a larger battery and so on. If any of the elements break then they can be replaced without having to throw the whole phone away. As someone who recently had to dump a rather nice camera aka an HTC Incredible Android phone because something went wrong with one part of the phone and it started overheating ( I shoved the phone in my bra while I ran the race for life and it was a hot day) I can see the point of a device that allows me to unscrew and remove an offending part and simply snap in another. There's a nifty little video that gets the idea across nicely on the website.
Dave wants people to support the Phonebloks project by adding their names to a list of people who will spread the idea all at the same time via a social media thunderclap e.g. set it up to automatically tweet from everyones account at once in a 'thunderclap' of noise about the idea.
Great idea ~ the thunderclap as well as the Phoneblok.
A lot of people have been sharing the link, liking the idea of a phone that is not tied to one supplier or network or manufacturer. I'll be very interested to follow its progress. I do vaguely remember in the late 80s or early 90s, when all computing devices were said to be heading for convergence with cooperation between the hardware and software and mac will talk to pc and vice versa and all will be seamless and painless. Still waiting for that to happen too. So it will be great if different partners work together to realise this in some way and then extend the idea to other appliances that fill the land.

I would have shared the Phoneblok idea when I first saw it but it took me 'til now to get over being more than slightly irritated  by the promotional video. So, to get it off my Android-phone-killing-chest, here's a little plea to those 'guys' who make these promos:

Dear Boys,
Next time you are asked to create a video about new technologies, remember that women make up more than half the population of the world. I can't be bothered to work out the percentage of women in your video but it's low. In the real world, women are Entrepreneurs, Designers, CEOs, Developers, Investors and Researchers. And enjoy taking photographs. Although I wouldn't know that from looking at your vision of who will come together to create the future Phoneblok world:

Ok, so you did have one female character using your technology. Maybe you thought you were being good guys by including a woman in your vision of the future, but why make her an elderly lady in a rocking chair who is used to illustrate the idea that there are those who need to keep their Phoneblok simple? Even if you wanted to make her a user rather than creator she could have been the photographer. Or anything. She may be hard of hearing but she could be a retired rocket scientist.
A Granny