An Israeli start-up called Modu Mobi has brought a new mobile to the technology landscape that it believes will make people rethink the concept of mobile phones. The product is a bare bones phone that measures 0.3 inches in thickness and 1.5 ounces in weight.
This tiny phone, which is slightly larger than a domino, is capable of sending and receiving calls and text messages. It can store contacts and MP3s with up to 16 gigabytes of storage capacity, and it has a small but usable screen and a sparse keypad that lacks numbers. Launched this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Modu can be used as a stand-alone phone. But more important, it can also be slipped into a variety of “jackets,” such as in-car MP3 players, Global Positioning Systems, and larger cell phones, that expand the Modu’s functions and change its look.
The phone is targeted at the current generation that caters to new mobile phones once every couple of years. For the Modu it would be about changing the casing for a new one, essentially keeping the core module intact.
The product reflects immense innovation (the designers even did away with the keypads to make the product stick to a small form factor). But the criticism for the device comes on the lines of changing the consumer mindset. People do not follow a system of purchasing accessories and the main mobile phone separately.
What’s different about Modu phones are its interchangeable enclosures that transform it into a totally different device. To change the way it looks, you just pop it into a different Modu jacket, likely to be available in every color and design. To give it new functionality you just slide inside a Modu mate device, which will include things like media players, digital photo frames, digital cameras, GPS devices, and even cordless telephones.