The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Interesting Phone Concept

I wonder if this will take off? It's a great idea.

1 comment:

an Donalbane said...

It won't.

Though the concept would appeal to many in the Prius crowd, thinking they're going to save the earth - and even somewhat to folks like me who bemoan the throwaway culture - the Lego design offers near zilch in terms of sizzle/sexiness/peer value.

I think it would wither in the mass market. Consumer gizmos tend to consist of a base of proven, mature (read: cheap to produce) technology, to which a marketer can attach a couple - or handful - of new features, redesign/repackage, and, initially, sell at a premium.

Hard to see component manufacturers getting too excited about selling low numbers of low margin 'commodities', e.g. cameras, storage, or speakers. Conversely, if they tried to fatten their margins on their respective inputs, the resulting phone would not be price competitive with a new iPhone or S Galaxy. Kinda like building your own Dodge Challenger by buying components at the Mopar Parts counter.

His notion that cellphones are a leading cause of waste - well, kinda true, but the heffalump in the corner would be the auto industry. Shade tree mechanics have been virtually obsoleted, and these days vehicles that with normal maintenance should see 250K+ miles, routinely get $#!+canned well short of that, though 90% of the components are far from reaching their useful life expectancy. With diminishing steel usage in autos, the recoverable value via the crusher is not very green.

I'd personally be tickled to see a return to sustainable manufacturing and sensibilities - when average home/auto owners knew how to fix stuff. Heck, just a couple of weeks ago, the fan on my kitchen range hood stopped turning. Jacking around with it, I found that the brushless motor was binding. I disassembled the head and tail bearings, applied some Liquid Wrench penetrating lubricant (that don't sound right) and some moly-graph grease, and reassembled it - voilĂ , runs like a scalded dog. Of course, over time, the plastic fan blades had got d!cked up, but Granger's just happened to have one, on clearance, for $2.26. So instead of $75.00 for a new range hood, I repaired the thing for under $5, and saved a bit of space in the landfill.

But that don't keep factories humming and people employed.

I get kinda chapped when I drive past places that I remember as fields and forests as a kid, that were developed for retail or commercial 25-35 years ago, and they're now boarded up, with cracking sidewalks and potholed parking lots. What a waste! On the plus side, it's cool to see urban regeneration - went to the resurrected Kessler Theatre in Oak Cliff Sunday evening to see Jimmy Webb (possible future blogpost) - wearing Levis from a garage sale, a shirt from Goodwill, Tony Lama boots and a watch from Bearly Used resale.

Like the guy in the video, I have a green concept that occasionally fills my daydreams (another future blogpost). Mine has to do with tiny houses - think Jay Shafer's Tumbleweed/Four Lights designs, but a bit larger - running against the trend of McMansions. Conscious consumption is the term, I think - using quality materials, in reasonable quantity, requiring minimal energy usage. Would love to see an urban renewal test site, or an RV park (there's one off of W7 west of MonkeyWards plaza) that could be converted to a perfect proof-of-concept.

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle? Yeah, I suppose you could say I do that.