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Modular

Mobile Technology Feature

Project Ara: Will Google's modular smartphone slot into our future?

We've been keeping an eye on the progress of Google's Project Ara for a while now, and the radio silence had us a little worried. The idea for a modular smartphone, where individual hardware components like cameras, speakers and battery packs can be easily swapped out to customize your device, was too intriguing to languish in limbo. But Ara will languish no more, as the tech giant gave the project some much needed attention at its I/O conference last week. We now know a lot more about how the system works, how it fits into the current landscape of modular phones and why we should be (at least cautiously) excited about it.Read More

Music

Modular music stand is like a multitool for musicians

Described by its creators as a "Swiss Army Knife" for musicians, the Senstand multi-function music stand can be set to different heights and be transformed into instrument storage, a standing desk, drinks holder, accessory minder and more. The strap from the custom carry bag it collapses down into can even be used as a guitar strap for your guitar or bass.Read More

Music

Modular guitars cater to the constantly-changing player

Building a guitar to satisfy the ever-evolving needs of all players would seem an impossible task. Metal axemen have monumentally different requirements to country twangers, Strat-lovers seek a different tone to humbuckers, and electric git-fiddlers go shopping with a different wants list than acoustic pickers. Having said that, the 20:14 range of guitars from Barcelona's Aclam Guitars does seem to tick a lot of customization and personalization boxes.Read More

Around The Home

Ryobi opens the door for modular, app-connected garages

Ryobi, best known for its power tools, has given its new motorized garage door opener added functionality thanks to modular design and app-connected smarts. The Ultra Quiet Garage Door Opener can also serve as a carbon monoxide sensor, wireless speaker, cooling fan or parking assistant if you're open to mixing and matching the brand's plug-and-play modules.Read More

Music

Aero earphones offer hi-fi on the move

Hong Kong-based Zorloo has followed last year's inexpensive but very capable Z:ero digital earphones with what's described as a complete musical system. Like the previous models, the Aero in-ears ignore the source device's own (often poor) audio system and route the signal to the earphones over a digital audio connection. Three interface varieties are being supported and, in a modular twist, users can swap out driver modules to change the sound being thrown down their ears.Read More

Architecture

Gomos Modular Home takes 3 days to install

Portuguese architect Samuel Gonclaves has created a clever concrete modular housing system called the "Gomos System." It was launched late last year in Arouca, Portugal with funding from 18 local companies to help get the project off the ground. The system consists of a series of singular reinforced concrete modules (gomos) which are entirely prefabricated off-site (inside and out) and simply join together, providing a fully livable home in a matter of days.
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Youmo modular power strip provides customizable sockets

The problem with power strips is that available sockets can soon run out, meaning you have to go out and buy new ones with more sockets. The Youmo modular power strip lets you add on additional sockets when needed, and also tag on USB ports for charging mobile gadgets.Read More

Music

Earphones get a modular twist

Modular headphones like AIAIAI's TMA-2 and the t402v from Torque Audio allow listeners to change the look or sound of their earspeakers without having to buy a new pair to suit every whim. Some earphones, such as the Delta IEMs and the T20s, sport filter tips to alter the tuning, but stamping your own personality onto the in-ears is pretty much limited to the color and style of the bud you pop on each nozzle. With the mXers you'll be able to change the sound and the look, and replace worn or broken components, in a snap ... and a twist.Read More

Digital Cameras

Cambits system lets users build cameras from high-tech blocks

Scientific research institutes typically need a lot of cameras, as their studies require various types of imaging. However, instead of having to buy multiple complete cameras, what if those places could just make the systems they needed out of electronic building blocks? Well, that's essentially what Columbia University's Cambits system is. It consists of multiple types of blocks that can be assembled in different configurations, each one of those comprising a different imaging system.Read More

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