University of Twente Student Theses


Future feasibility analysis on modular smartphones

Chen, Ziwei (2021) Future feasibility analysis on modular smartphones.

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Abstract:A smartphone has become an essential partner in our daily life. The demand for new devices is rapidly increasing and thus the large number of electronic waste (E-waste) has become big issues. Premature obsolescence is one of the main reasons why the longevity of smartphone is much shorter than expected. This results in the fact of generating a huge amount of E-watses from smartphones. We find that the human-device relationships play an essential role in the premature obsolescence issues. In order to reduce E-wastes, a new concept of modularity was introduced and is considered as a good solution. The modular smartphone project by Google, Project Ara (2013), seemed very likely to be the mainstream at that time. The analysis on the development of Google Ara shows great potential on the economic, social, and environmental sustainability. However, many challenges, including immature technologies such as the connectors that are compatible with external modules and the lack of uniform standards, still impede the development of modular smartphones. In 2016, the project Ara was canceled by Google unexpectedly. Modular smartphones have shown to have significant positive impacts on the material culture, the way how smartphones are used, and longevity extension for most components, even if they are difficult to be the mainstream now.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:02 science and culture in general
Programme:Computer Science BSc (56964)
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