A new report posted by Engadget today titled "Six Designs that bust E-Waste" covers designs and inventions that will keep smartphones from landfills a little longer, in-part or in-whole or have their circuit boards dissolve in hot water. In the number three spot Engadget listed Apple's friendly robot called 'Liam' as a top e-waste buster. We covered Liam in a special mini report back in March.
Google's Project Ara Smartphone
The invention that landed in the number two spot was Google's Project Ara smartphone. Google's Project Ara is a smartphone composed of individual modules that can be swapped and replaced, so you can repair or upgrade the phone instead of having to throw it out and buy a brand new one. The futuristic handset is expected to go on sale next year, and Google has designed six different modules that snap together like LEGO bricks, each with its own special function. Reportedly, a developer model will be released later this year, with a consumer version slated to arrive in 2017. To review the other four inventions, see Engadget's full report here.
Back in March we covered one of Google's design patents for the Ara smartphone. This week Google was granted another design patent that showed off two different interface designs that could come to market.
In all three Ara smartphone designs thus far the backside design doesn't. It's only the face of the smartphone that changes with displays illustrating two varying depths.
Being that this week's patent is a design patent, we're not privy to any description as to what the bottom portions of the phones are actually representing. Especially in Design 2 where the non-display section is rather large. Is it a pull down hard keyboard for texting? Is it a second mini display to show email and/or texts? Is it an area to keep track of social media posts? Unfortunately for Android fans, that's likely to remain a mystery for yet another year.