Use a modular smartphone to make a computer

Project Ara is developing fast, but what do you do with the smartphone modules you discard after a while? Just throw them away? Puzzlephone says no, you don’t, because you can use a smartphone module (or more) to create your own computer. The idea behind Google’s Project Ara is to create a modular smartphone that users can equip with their hardware of choice. You can later change the modules you’ve chosen initially if you want to upgrade your phone, or if you want a better battery life, more processing power, etc. The idea is innovative and would be a new type of “green” modular smartphone which doesn’t create as much waste as current designs. It’s also an economical solution as you can switch out modules that no longer work but use the rest.

Since the modular smartphone does create some waste when you discard modules you don’t use, such as the CPU, Puzzlephone came up with an idea to make use of the modules in another way. The company behind Puzzlephone, Circular Devices, thought that they should start working on Puzzlecluster, a scalable computer. In their vision, you can use various CPUs from a modular smartphone (or more if you can get them), in order to create a computer with decent processing power. The concept Circular Devices has thought up also uses the battery modules from these phones, so that you can create your computer basically from scratch.

The concept is still in development, but the Finnish company thinks they could pull this off with a little help. The idea in itself seems excellent, because the modular smartphone is on the verge of a take-off. As soon as people start using the modular smartphone concept, either with Project Ara or Puzzlephone itself, they will have endless opportunities to upgrade their phones and be up to date with flagship specs. Since the modules one might discard are basically useless if you don’t exchange them with other users, for example, the idea of using them to build your own computer based on a chassis Puzzlecluster will provide is great. Green, economical and educational. We hope the Puzzlecluster kicks off and makes the modular smartphone and modular computer the hardware of the future.