The return of the modular phone: is HMD developing something exotic with Project Fusion?

The return of the modular phone: is HMD developing something exotic with Project Fusion?
Following the spirit of "everything new is well-forgotten old", HMD (the company that bought the Nokia license) is about to give it a try at modular phones.

Or so it appears.

Human Mobile Devices (that's what HMD stands for, not "Happy Mother's Day) is teasing Project Fusion on the dedicated Instagram accounts in France, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

Project Fusion was announced as early as this year's MWC (Mobile World Congress) at Barcelona, but it's only now that details emerge, however scarce they might be.

The Instagram breadcrumbs show what's probably a return to the modular phone concept, with a base unit and attachable "smart outfits" that expand the phone’s functionality (via Gizmochina).

You can think of it as a phone with external, physical add-ons that interchange, based on the user's needs.

HMD slaps a "Coming Soon" in the teasers, so the whole thing is probably around the corner. However, the add-on devices might be unveiled at first in the aforementioned regions, not globally.

Motorola's attempt at Moto Mods

The reason I mentioned that "everything new is well-forgotten old" at the start of the piece is that Motorola has already tried modular phones.

Motorola introduced Moto Mods, which were modular accessories designed to attach magnetically to Moto Z series smartphones, almost 10 years ago. The types of Moto Mods included:

  • JBL SoundBoost Speaker: This mod provided high-quality stereo sound with a built-in kickstand for hands-free viewing.
  • Moto Insta-Share Projector: This mod allowed users to project images and videos onto a wall or surface, turning the smartphone into a portable projector. Super cool!
  • Hasselblad True Zoom Camera: This mod added a high-quality camera with optical zoom capabilities, enhancing the smartphone's photography capabilities.
  • Incipio offGRID Power Pack: This mod added extra battery life to the smartphone, allowing users to extend their usage time without needing to charge the phone.
  • Moto Style Shell: While not a functional mod in terms of technology, the Style Shell allowed users to customize the back of their Moto Z smartphone with different materials and designs.

Each mod was easily attached and detached from the smartphone using magnetic connectors, offering users a unique way to customize and expand the capabilities of their device.

Then, it all ended and modular phones from Motorola were no more.

Let's see if HMD could pull this one off.

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