With smartphone tech becoming obsolete so quickly, it was only a matter of time before this would happen. One of Kickstarter’s newest projects released today, codenamed “Nexpaq”, is currently set to introduce their very own fully upgradable phone prototype device within a year, beating Google’s own modular “Project Ara” release dates. This means we finally have the options to upgrade many component on your smartphones, including your camera, speakers, battery, storage, and much more. As of right now, there are a projected 12 types of modules that are upgradable the Nexpaq concept itself. Even more are to be expected as details are still being released.
The premise of Nexpaq and Google’s Project Ara once was almost considered a joke and an “engineer’s nightmare” not too long ago considering the multitude of potential incompatibility issues that could arise with this type device. Now, with the help of Kickstarter, we will get to see these Lego-like smartphones come to fruition within the next year.
The way Nexpaq works is not exactly like Google’s Project Ara, although. Instead of it being a complete shell with every part being able to be hot swapped, Nexpaq is a back piece that slides onto the back of your current phone and upgrades a variety of parts on the fly without even needing to take apart anything at all. The modules can be swapped at any time and are compatible with the some of the major phones on the market including iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and the Samsung Galaxy S5. The line-up is currently on the slim side as of its introduction, but the creators have mentioned that they will definitely expand their array of other phones upon its inevitable release.
Right now, the modules for the Nexpaq don’t have any real issues from going to an iPhone or Android OS. This being said, anyone could trade things like a battery to a friend with a different operating system if their phones dying or vice versa. This also mean that other modules will work concurrently with older modules, so there won’t be any other compatibility issues with future modules, which is nice.
If Nexpaq makes their goal (which is currently sitting at about 10k out of their 50k goal on the first day) you can expect to see this device very soon. In fact, this concept could be available to the general public as early as January of 2016 – less than a year away. The early bird price tag currently sits at $90 bucks for the device itself along with 4 modules if you pick it up early from their Kickstarter campaign.
So what we see with the Nexpaq Project is the infancy stages of great things to come. An upgradable phone cover is only the beginning of making your own personalized custom smartphone. It’s not perfected as of yet, but it’s a very awesome start considering it’s the first of its kind. This is definitely something to look out for.
For more information on the Nexpaq Project, or if you want to pick one up for your phone early, check out their Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nexpaq/nexpaq-the-first-truly-modular-smartphone-case