Date: Jun 2016
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Leading design and innovation consultancy Seymourpowell (the design team behind the multi award winning Fairphone2) revealed four 'modular tech’ concepts that look to transform the world of product development as we know it. The concepts take Google’s Project Ara open hardware platform as a starting point and expand it far beyond smartphones to demonstrate how a vast array of products could be brought to market quicker and cheaper, and be tailored more to the needs of individual consumers.

The ‘Move’ concept is a robot printer that navigates its environment to scan and print surfaces it travels, offering new creative and practical possibilities for people working in a broad spectrum of fields, from fabric/pattern cutting and interior design to construction and surveying. The printer head and motor/wheel modules could become ‘killer modules’, allowing other developers to create a whole variety of new products very quickly and easily without having to start from scratch.

Wearable device ‘Wear’ addresses patients’ medical needs through biometric monitoring, instant connection to medical staff and access to their treatment timeline. The concept shows how the device can be reconfigured for a female patient during different stages of pregnancy, from a belly worn tocometer measuring contractions, to a device that monitors heart rate, stress levels and drug delivery, and later facilitates the emotional bond between mother and baby by sharing their heart beats and live images if they’re apart.

‘Link’ imagines a network of potentially infinite modules that can monitor and provide feedback on their environment. In this instance, the concept is configured for agriculture purposes with rain collecting, soil, moisture and light sensor modules supported by a Wi-Fi module to collect and send live data of local conditions back to the farmer to influence decision making and optimise crop productivity.

‘Play’ allows musicians to create bespoke products to create unique sound performances by bringing their preferred digital and analogue modules together. The product could be configured for all types of musicians, from a one-man band with a single input, output and Wi-Fi keyboard, to a band’s sound engineers who need complex setups on the road.


Creative Director: Matthew Cockerill