If your smartphone mic isn't delivering, why not swap it out for a better one?
That's the vision of the Phonebloks alliance – and now German microphone and headphones manufacturer Sennheiser has signed up, it's become a shade more likely.
Future modular phones such as Google's Project Ara could include Sennheiser’s interchangeble audio blocks; you'll be able to assemble a mother-of-all-smartphones using components from different vendors in the Phonebloks alliance.
Sennheiser's involvement will focus on its areas of expertise, such as the creation of broadcast-quality microphones or highly compact devices, like recorders, that are less receptive to wind noise. Theoretically, that means you can switch that abysmal microphone in your modular smartphone for something more cutting edge from Sennheiser, if your budget permits.
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Sennheiser may also be involved in making modular smartphones more accessible for disabled customers; it's involved in creating special streaming technology (based on its recently launched Sennheiser Connect technology), for a “low-latency lip-synchronous” solution for the visually impaired and hard-of-hearing. In short, phones can be easily customised based on the needs of the individual.
According to Sennheiser, it hopes that devising and creating components for the Phonebloks project will result in new applications beyond smartphones, too. Modular tablets, anyone?