Modular Gadgets

Apr 302015

Google Project Ara Like NexPaq Modular Smartphone Case

If you lost your patience to wait for the long acclaimed Google Project Ara modular smartphone and you want to get it right away, we have your back covered – check out the new NexPaq Modular Case for iPhone and Android devices.

While not a standalone phone, the NexPaq Case available for most popular iPhone and Android models on the market and is designed to add additional features to your smartphone and customize it to do more and better. The NexPaq has a modular design with 6 module slots and allows you to supercharge your phone with extra storage, dedicated hotkeys, extra battery juice, laser presenter, amplified speaker, temperature, humidity and air quality sensors and even a breathalyzer for those who want to double check if they’re still in condition to drive after a cold beer.

ALSO CHECK the MyTask Urban iPhone Case With Multi Tools Stash and these 44 Coolest Utilitarian iPhone Cases To Make Your Life Easier.

The NexPaq modular case for iPhone and Android is in project stage over at Kickstarter, already reached it’s funding cap and will be delivered to customers as of January 2016.

$99 | BUY NOW
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May 232014

Polar Modular Pen And Stylus Various Models

While many pens out there compete for the coolest design and functionality award, none of them is as versatile as the Polar Magnetic Pen.
Build to serve you as regular pen and tablet stylus, the Polar Pen‘s parts attach one another via strong neodymium magnets. Both functional and fun, the modular magnetic pen allows you to have fun playing (dah!!!), use it as a compass to draw perfect circles, take notes and surf on your iPad (when used as stylus) and, at last but not least, have fun playing!

Oops, did I said have fun playing twice? I guess so … but that’s only because it’s so cool and fun to play with! Check out the video for more …

The Polar Pen comes after a successful Kickstarer crowdfunding campaign where over 14,250 backers helped them raise $817,164 (that’s 59 times more than what the $14k they were looking for!!!). Check the video, it’s worth the 60 seconds ….

$45+ | BUY NOW
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Mar 142014

Urban Modular Backpack By Ember
The concept of modular gear which can be used individually or as a whole becomes more and more popular.
Based on the same cool idea of combining multiple pieces of gear and customizing the final piece based on the needs of the moment, the guys from Ember Equipment brought to life the Modular Urban Pack – a cool backpack than can be easily adapted to fit your personal needs.

ALSO READ: Case Logic 15.6-in Laptop & Tablet Backpack [Product Review] and the Birksun Solar Powered Backpack Gadget USB Charger.

Inspired by the outdoors, built for life in the city, and designed to address the challenge of global travel.” the modular backpack is made of cordura nylon and features a main 20-liter compartment and a wide range of modular accessories including a padded laptop and tablet sleeve, weather proof military pouches, smartphone case, hard cases for sensitive gear, two handles, utility straps as well as a bike u-lock strap.

The Ember modular backpack is in project mode on Kickstarter and you can secure one for an introductory price of $209 (retails for $265+). Delivery scheduled for July 2014.

$209 | BUY NOW
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Dec 182013

TransMaker TR10 Or How To Transform Your Samsung Galaxy S3 Or S4 Into A Full Sized Tablet!
I am looking forward to the day when I’ll be able to use my smartphone for anything, or better said everything! Don’t get me wrong, my smartphone is already smart enough to do many important things … but my digital life is still fragmented between an Android smartphone, a tablet and a Windows laptop. There are many apps out-there that allow me to have a continuous experience from device to device (eg: Dropbox, Pocket, etc …), but, unfortunately, not everything works that easy …

There are a handful of projects around that still make me hope one day my smartphone will be the ONE gadget to rule them all – The Ubuntu Edge (the dual OS – Android and Linux – that can be used as phone and desktop PC), the Asus Padfone (smartphone hybrid that transforms into a tablet) or the Fujitsu Lifebook 2013 – the modular laptop. And of course, there’s also the Microsoft Surface Pro – this one doesn’t feature a smartphone, but we’re looking forward to the day it will!!!
But, while they’re very cool projects, they’re not perfect either … the Ubuntu smartphone runs Linux not Windows, The Asus Padfone forces me to use an Asus smartphone and the Fujitsu Lifebook … it’s simple – it doesn’t exist nor will ever exist as confirmed by the Fujitsu rep I spoke to.

So, what’s left? HOPE and patience … Someone will finally nail it! I am sure about it!
While we wait patiently, let’s check out another gadget designed to bring multiple devices into one! – The MiGoal TransMaker TR10. This coreless 10.1 tablet doesn’t solve all the above issues, but it surely gets one step closer to solving them!

The TR10 allows you to use your existing Samsung Galaxy S3 or S4 as processing unit for the 10.1 tablet, ads a 5,000mAh extended battery to the game, features an 1,200×800 pixels Super IPS capacitive touchscreen, an internal speaker, a 3.5mm headphones plug and a microUSB port. Another cool thing is that there is a premium version which comes with a full QWERTY Bluetooth keyboard so you can easily write your stuff in style, and it includes a Bluetooth dialer (available as an optional extra) for easy usage of the calling function. If you wonder where you can buy it – well … it’s not available yet – the device was presented at the IFA-Berlin 2013 tech show and we’re still waiting for news from the manufacturer about it’s release on the market.

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Sep 132013

Phone Blocks - The Lego Modular Smartphone System That Allows You Easy Upgrades and Repairs

Phone Blocks is a modular smartphone system that allows unlimited personalization, easy repairs and quick upgrades – also check the Fujitsu Lifebook 2013 and the Obento Note – two other cool modular concept gadgets.
It’s creator, Dave Hakkens, designed the Phone Blocks based on the Lego principle – a main board full of connection plugs allows combining different pre-made pieces and building a smartphone completely personalized. Here are some examples of what you can pull with Phone Blocks:

  • You’re into photography? Grab a powerful camera module, extended battery and some extra storage and you’re set for a nice photo session…
  • You need more power? Get a more powerful processor, more RAM and more storage
  • Simple needs? Drop all the gadgets and go for a long battery life …

Other cool applications of the Phone Blocks system are easy upgrades that allow your smartphone to keep up with the ever changing technology and easy repairs – which allow you to only change the module which broke (the common screen cracks fall into this last category).

Phone Blocks will be accompanied by Blockstore, which wants to be a block market just as most today’s app stores, that will allow various manufacturers to build specific phone modules for upgrades and repairs.

The Phone Blocks is in project mode. It’s developer is working on getting as much attention as possible. If you like the idea, simply share it further to raise awareness or help him directly via his Thunderclap project page …

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May 202013

Casetop, or How Your Smartphone Will Replace Your Laptop For Good

Smartphones are getting more powerful everyday. What is common sense for an average smartphone today used to power a top laptop running Windows XP only 7-8 years ago…
Due to all these quick technical advances, many manufacturers started to look into modular gadgets designed around smartphones – check the Fujitsu Lifebook 2013, Asus Padfone and the Obento Note.

The Casetop is one of the products that follows this path of modular gadgetry. While the idea is not completely new, it’s amazing how simple, efficient and cheap is Livi Design’s implementation.
The Casetop allows you to dock your smartphone and use it as processor, graphics engine and mouse-pad for the entire system. Once docked, the smartphone outputs graphics to an 11.1-inch 720po screen, uses the Casetop full-sized keyboard for text input and allows you to work or play just like on any regular laptop. Other notable features: stereo speakers, HDMI and MHL input, Micro USB, audio output and a rechargeable integrated battery ready to power your phone for around 30 hours. The Casetop can act as charger for any USB device and the cool part is that it is compatible with iPhones, Blackberry10 and various Android models via the slide-out clam support designed to accommodate various smartphone sizes.

While the idea of getting work done on my Android does not excite me that much, with the development of Windows 8 and Microsoft’s new approach to offer a unified mobile/desktop environment, I can see a lot of positive future for the Casetop. I believe the time when the only gadget we’ll have will be our smartphone is not that far away. Imagine you go to work, pull out your smartphone, dock it, turn on the Corporate profile and work like a boss. Get home, dock your phone, turn on the personal profile and happy personal computing. Same when you go to a friend and want to share pics and videos. Same when you meet a customer and show him a project. The possibilities are unlimited!

Now, to get back to the Casetop – The Casetop is in project stage at KickStarter with pledges of $250. Feel free to give the guys at Livi Design a hand to get this wonder in production.

I really want to hear your thought on this in the comments. Do you think Casetop like devices are the future of personal computing? How about the corporate world? Do you think at a point you’ll have only one gadget to rule them all and be able to hook it and use it in various formats?

$220 | BUY NOW
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Mar 262013

Obento Note - The Modular laptop With Tablet, Smartphone, SSD Storage and Solar Battery

Modular gadget design wins more and more fans everyday. Actually, if you think about it, it’s super cool – you get a bunch of devices that work individually and, by combining them together, you get a super gadget capable of running most functions of the individual devices … and much more.

While checking out the the latest in this direction, I felt onto this older concept called the Obento Note and, as it looks very promising, I decided to feature it even if it was released more than two years ago …

The Obento Note follows the same principle as the Fujitsu Lifebook 2013 … or should I say the Fuitsu Lifebook follows the Obento Note‘s principle … who knows! The designer Renee Lee designed the Obento Note for Fujitsu back in 2011, so maybe both devices are one and the same gadget in different stages on development!

Anyway, the Obento Note does not contain battery, storage, trackpads or processors, it’s a blank slate that docks your mobile devices. When the devices are docked into the hub, you get to use them as a complete 15″ laptop system. Here are the details:

  • The box – the main gadget body that fits the rest of the gadgets to create a full functional laptop – with a 15″ OLED screen
  • 11″ tablet which acts as a keyboard, drawing board or secondary display when docked into the Obento Note.
  • 4″ smartphone becomes your system’s trackpad, or can display additional information like gaming stats when the system is used for gaming
  • A Solar powered lithioum-ion battery provides the necessary power to make the system run. When undocked, it can be used as an external solar battery pack
  • 1TB SSD storage drive which can be used to store information. When connected to the hub, it assures the storage for the entire ecosystem.
  • All devices can be used individually

The Obento Note was supposed to go in production in 2012, but, unfortunatelly, I was not able to find any recent information on the company’s developments to produce this super modular gadget.

What are your toughts about this new wave of modular gadgets? Would you let go your individual gadgetry and go for a modular ecosystem? Let me know in the comments …

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