We bring you yet another exclusive interview this time from Finland a startup with beautiful concept and product in making and yes it is a phone a, a Modular Device. Not very early we bumped into a product called Puzzlephone, indeed we were puzzled to know what exactly this meant and then we met the talented and dynamic Alejandro Santacrey, the CEO & founder, Circular Devices OY, Finland who explained us what exactly Puzzlephone stands for. Alejandro says “he has been always involved in circuitry and firmware since he was just a kid, his grandfather was an aeroplane mechanic for the US army and he taught Alejandro the basic electrical concepts, years later his father and uncle ( his father’s brother) became a Siemens-Nixdorf engineer who enlightened his mind with the magic of the integrated circuits”. Read on to know more about Puzzlephone.
– Who are you guys?
We are Circular Devices Oy. An Espoo, near Helsinki, Finland based startup founded by Alejandro Santacreu, Spanish immigrant and engineer. Circular Devices focus on bringing the circular economy concept to all kind of devices we use in our daily lives, starting with the PuzzlePhone.
– How did the idea of PuzzlePhone come up?
The Puzzlephone idea was released to the public for the first time in January 2013. Nothing really new here but the need to find solutions to common problems with the life cycle of smartphone. Alejandro Santacrey has experience of developing mobile devices for a well known Spanish brand, he was keen in understanding the need to have a phone which could be easily repairable and can be hardware upgradeable through their life cycle. The concept grew originally to a modular device that can be customised. Check the concept video here.
– What is PuzzlePhone?
A modular device that can be easily upgradable. That’s the basics, but the most relevant part and the main goal is to have a device that will be more sustainable in terms of life cycle and environmental footprint.
We are aiming to a mid-price device, we want to build the reference/beacon version and let third parties explore other things like, pricing materials and possibilities (+/-)
Prototyping and R&D barriers for mobiles have been lowering down during the last years so we have been and we are being able to figure it out part of the final design at the actual seed-funding stage and keep ourselves one step ahead.
Consumers will be able to easily replace and upgrade any of these three core modules: display, electronics and battery. And what is also important – the consumer will be given the chance to choose the high-tech product which is built to minimise the impact on our global ecosystem.
– Who is the team Puzzlephone?
Here you have the Puzzlephone rooster with all involved in the project till this time of the year.
– What are the future plans & product line you are looking forward to?
For the first round of the Puzzlephone we are considering 3 screen sizes. The Puzzlephone is an open concept that will allow custom modules from third parties. The Puzzlephone will be at the forefront of the hardware upgradeable mobile devices. We would not like to promise further on other products at this point of time.
Circular economy thinking and sustainability are more and more on the menu when looking to further ways of achieving economical development in Europe. We at PUZZLEPHONE believe that using common sense and caring about the ways we do things, it is possible to have both: edgy high-tech devices and green planet Earth. We also believe that we will be able to help to bring back manufacturing of high-tech devices to Europe where there is still a lot of great knowledge and highly qualified specialists
– Who are your partners?
We are currently conducting deals with several prospecting Partners that cannot be disclosed yet. A list of the current Partners and supporters can be found here.
Fraunhofer IZM is supporting the product design of PUZZLEPHONE because of its improved cradle-to-cradle design and a balanced compromise among repairability, durability and recyclability. The Puzzlephone project is supported also by Laurea University of Applied Sciences , Spinno , Otaniemi , StartUp Sauna and private investors.
– When can we expect the availability of prototype & the final product?
The first working prototype will be out for testing before Christmas this year. We aim to start production of the first PUZZLEPHONE in the second half of 2015 by offering a reliable, upgradable and easily repairable smartphone designed in Finland and produced keeping in mind that each of us has to make responsible steps to keep our planet green.
– What are the features, specs & pricing you are aiming with the PuzzlePhone?
Features will depend on when we will secure next rounds of investment, the supply chain iterates quite fast and every 9 months there is a new chip leaving the pipeline, so it will depend basically on when will we get the right-big investor on board to jump to the assembly lines with confidence.
PUZZLEPHONE is easily repairable and upgradable smart phone equipped with open source code for reliable auditing and community support.
– How is PuzzlePhone different from other projects Ara n likes?
Comparing to Google ARA project, which gives endless choices for consumer to purchase and upgrade almost every feature of a mobile device one could think of, PUZZLEPHONE stays friendly to supply chain by not re-inventing the wheel. If you open your smartphone you will find these three vital body parts– The brain (electronics), The spine (display) and The heart (battery). They are already there for the good reason – for years industry manufacturers have found it as the most efficient way of doing things. By trying to change this by splitting them into further modules, the supply chain would only suffer.
PuzzlePhone is a very interesting concept and we wish to see it fully functional soon with Christmas around the corner. We thank the team at PuzzlePhone for their valuable time and coordination and wish them all the success with such beautiful initiative. You can meet the team of Puzzlephone at Slush14 in Helsinki, Finland.
Steady tuned for more news on Puzzlephone and other tech buzz. Let us know in the comments what do you think about this device.