The Next Web says Google's Motorola division is working with Phonebloks on something called Ara, a project that aims to enable you to build your own phone, Lego-style, from the ground up. If you're interested in having a better camera and a keyboard on your phone, for instance, you can connect those parts to your phone. If you don't need the fastest processor, you could opt for a cheaper one. If newer, more desirable parts come out, you could just swap your older modules for the newer ones, rather than getting a whole new phone. The project was pitched as being less wasteful, and possibly better for emerging economies.
When Phonebloks was first announced, people were highly skeptical of the idea. How would you convince parts manufacturers to play nice with a single system? Google's involvement at least makes Phonebloks look more like a real possibility, although there are still plenty of hurdles to the project. Seems to me that operating systems would need to be a whole lot more elastic than they are today to handle all the various parts and combinations that consumers would choose for their phones. But I like the idea of making it easy for people to decide what kind of gadgets they use. There are plenty of devices that I like for one reason or another, but no single phone has everything that I need or want in a device. The idea of a phone that ages and matures with me, based solely on my use, is something that I didn't even know I wanted until I heard about this concept.