Fancy a Sennheiser microphone in your smartphone? It's going to be possible since the German microphone and headphones maker has joined the Phonebloks alliance, which is behind the concept of modular smartphones.
Potentially, future modular phones such as Google's Project Ara could include Sennheiser’s audio blocks that are interchangeable. So what you will end up with is a mother-of-all smartphones that has components from various vendors that have joined or will soon join the Phonebloks alliance.
Sennheiser's involvement would be focused on its areas of expertise, such as the creation of broadcast-quality microphones or highly compact devices, like recorders, that are less receptive to the sound from wind. Theoretically, that means you can switch that abysmal microphone in your modular smartphone for something more cutting edge from Sennheiser, if your budget permits.
Another would be Sennheiser’s involvement in the conception of a 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 end up in the birth of new applications beyond smartphones.
In reality, Phonebloks is actually an independent organisation that encourages the manufacturing of devices that produce less electronic waste.
When a component of a device is damaged, it could potentially brick the whole unit and render it useless. What Phonebloks is working towards, is making smart devices more modular – so we can just replace the broken or damaged component and still have our devices function.
And it will be one device that lasts for eons, as long as the parts are still available.