A modular gadget that is more than just a smartphone – it is a suite of accessories that can be attached to the phone to turn it into anything you want!
The modular phone has been the dream for many big shots like Google who’ve invested a lot of time on Project Ara only to be dumped a few years ago. The idea of a modular smartphone is interesting but the implementation for the consumer market is darn hard. Fairphone has been holding on to this difficult domain with their latest model the Fairphone 4 powered by the Qualcomm 750G, making some strong waves in the market. The modular aspect of the phone makes it long-lasting when we talk of replacing parts. No surprise it achieved a high repairability score of 9.2 on the French Repairability Index and 10/10 on the iFixit test.
The modularity dream for a phone that can swap parts like a Lego brick is still longing for perfection and this concept fuels the fire. Just like the Fairphone, Nicola Morelli’s Soul smartphone concept gives us something to dream about. A phone that can turn into a high-end DSLR camera or turn into a high-end customizable accessory for fitness freaks. The Nintendo Switch-like interactive vibe is more about changing the format of the gadget using extensive modules rather than just adding functions with internal hardware swapping. Soul itself is one of the modules and the other attachable modules are called bodies. The main module itself can be used as a basic smartphone when you don’t require any other functions.
While the designer doesn’t narrow in on more modules for use with the Soul phone, I can think of a few attachments. A module to accurately measure the temperature and altimeter on a mountain hike, or maybe a high-end tripod attachment that has a powerful telescopic lens to gaze at the stars. The possibilities are endless with this concept phone!
Designer: Nicola Morelli