What’s better than one phone? Apparently, it’s three phones. Researchers at the University of Calgary and Waterloo in Canada have come up with a prototype modular phone that branches out to three phones. The 3D printed case accommodates three phones and runs a custom Android version. The main phone (Nexus 6P) is akin to a control center, and the other two devices can be shared with others.
Other two phones include a mid-size phone (Nexus 4) and a tiny sized phone, both of which can slide out of the case and can be shared with other people. In the meanwhile, one can keep an eye on the other two phones activity on the primary phone. While sliding out the phone from the case, a list of icons pop up and its here that you can choose the level of access the borrower should have. The range of options varies from screen sharing to using any of the apps from the main phone. All of this happens when the NFC tags on the peripheral phones trigger a response on the main phone. That said, the researchers agree that the design is on the bulkier side.
Furthermore, the makers of the device also attempt to answer the most obvious question, Why would anyone want to carry three devices stacked in one? As per the researchers in the near future, we would be sharing our devices in one way or the another. For instance, kids usually have access to their parent’s smartphones. Whenever the kids or as a matter of fact anyone else borrows your phone, you lose the access to it. With this new prototype, you can lend your phone without actually losing access to your phone.
Modularity in phones is yet to take off, the much-anticipated Project Ara was shut down last year. Motorola is one of the few OEM’s that have been faring decently with the Moto Mods. The recently launched Essential phone too comes with a magnetic dock that can be snapped to an accessory. Teddy Sayed, a graduate student at the University of Calgary, says that they are coming out with a newer version, one that features a single primary device along with slimmer displays for sharing. The primary phone will be handling the bulk of the processing while the sidekicks will end up serving as display units with a touch interface.