A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Phonebloks, a new modular concept in smart phone design which if created, would reduce e-waste by a huge amount. The video proved to be an instant hit world wide, to the delight of its creator, Dave Hakkens.
I was the Business Development Manager for smartphones at BT Cellnet (now O2) before smart phones were commercially available, and have therefore been involved in the design and specification of this technology in partnership with all the major handset manufacturers. As someone who is also interested of course in authentic sustainability and conscious consumption, I wanted to catch up with Dave to ask him how life has been since launching his video. Even though he has received a mountain of messages, I am delighted that Dave found time to be interviewed, and his responses are below.
When did you think of the concept? What was your inspiration?
I’ve got an old canon compact camera which broke, so I wanted to fix it. When I took it apart I found all these nice components like a display, flash, battery, little gears etc. Everything was still good except the lens -motor. Looked for a spare part but Canon basically told me to get a new one (like always) And then I realized this is how it goes with electronics, if it’s broken you throw it away you don’t fix it. When you have a flat tire you don’t throw away your bike, you fix it. This method creates a lot of e-waste, I wanted to see if I could bring any help in fixing it.
When did you release the video, and what has the response been like?
10 sept. (2013) Amazing! A lot of visitors, supporters, mail and the website often offline due to the huge amount of visitors. I’ve got a lot of people that are interested in helping, investing, developing.
Have any IT companies been in contact with you?
Yes, I’ve got some very interesting companies that ‘want to have a chat’ not sure what it means but I’m excited
Do you have any plans to approach IT companies? As well as your efforts to raise awareness, what other activities are you involved in? e.g. talking to venture capitalists, etc.
Currently they all contact us, so that pretty great. But yes if it’s needed to get phonebloks going I will definitely do that.
How much work would you consider needs to be done to go from concept to working model?
It totally depends on the companies that want the get involved. The more companies interested the sooner it’s ready. But it will definitely takes a couple of years.
I would like to thank Dave for his time for this interview, and if you have not seen it, here is the video: