Technology and software has come leaps and bounds but yet very few enterprises have put out products that take advantage of sustainability by producing products that rely on upgrades. For instance, when your smartphone hits the age of adolescence (2 years), it’ll probably be time for you to upgrade to a new device to keep up with the times. But, when will product manufacturers build products that don’t need to be totally replaced, rather make it simple to upgrade devices by keeping the shell and putting in a new “brain”? Wouldn’t that make more sense for our environment, pocket books and device relationships?
This probably is a rant, but there is no reason why products can’t be built to make upgrading simpler, eco-friendly and cost effective. Julius Tarng has created one called Modai. Modai is a design that is just a concept, not a prototype that works, but something that should exist and be embraced as a way to sell and fabricate products.
Modai comes with some very cool features and interface thought, such as a peel-away stand that can signal you when calls or messages are coming in, in an un-obtrusive manner, and paradigms that help users balance work and play. But its thoughtfulness toward a product that is modular and has the ability to lengthen the relationship between users and devices allowing us to “scrap the planned obsolescence model and plan for upgrades” is what’s really exciting.
Modai uses a peelstand that gives users access to Modai’s “internal pack”, which can be swapped out for new CPU, RAM, battery or other internal upgrades necessary in a simple manner. “Modai employs an ecosystem that allows you to return your old module for disposal or resale after you buy a new one.” By providing an opportunity to upgrade hardware items that evolve quickly, the device allows us to explore how our world should be.
We know that concept ideas are just ideas and actually call for a lot of infrastructure and planning to produce a product that is viable. The team and investment would be so large that creating a product that uses the upgrading “ecosystem” probably won’t happen, but it should. We need more products that are sustainable and not thrown away after they hit their inevitable, yet very short lifespan. It probably doesn’t make much economic or practical sense for Apple, Google, or Microsoft to create a product such as Modai, but maybe that’s why it should exist.