A Finnish group of phone developers, hoping to get the world interested in modular smartphones, has proposed a nifty idea for re-using their phone motherboards: turn them into clusters.
The Linux-based Puzzlephone project wants to extend the life of smartphones by making more of the phone replaceable, on the premise that most of the hardware can last a decade, but consumers are locked into a much shorter upgrade cycle.
Hence, for example, perfectly good screens and batteries could be retained while the motherboard or radio units are upgraded.
The group, Circular Devices, is also giving thought to what do do with motherboards after they've been upgraded, and that's where the cluster idea comes from.
So the designers are getting to work on a chassis that can house multiple of the Puzzlephone's motherboards, so that boards returned by upgrading users can be recycled as clusters they reckon could scale from home and small business users up to public institutions.
The cluster's initial config will have a power supply, connectivity, peripheral support, and will connect the phone's batteries for backup power.
First, of course, the group has to catch its rabbit. It signed with a Finnish company called Grant4Com in December to get ready for manufacturing and market entry in December. ®