Climate change is undeniable. Earth’s resources won’t last forever.
And technology must be safe for people to make and use. Let’s stop question these realities — let’s challenge ourselves to ask what
we can do about them in every part of our production.
Can we one day stop mining the earth altogether?
I believe we will, because we will have to. And to do that, we need to make new products with recycled materials from your old computer or phone. So nextPhone has to be designed with this in mind.
Traditional supply chains are linear. Materials are mined, manufactured as products, and often end up in landfills after use. Then the process starts over and more materials are extracted from the earth for new products.
so when the time for annually upgraded hardware comes, it could be as simple as walking into a store, get the hardware upgraded and walk out with new, yet in fact fully recycled phone
Our goal should be a closed-loop supply chain, where products are built using only renewable resources or recycled materials. One way to achieve that is a design informed by the need for longevity and easy recyclability. By designing a phone that consists of durable and reusable external shell and swappable, easily recyclable internal part containing hardware that is prone to age faster, we can close the loop in the supply chain.
is what you get
what you give
How does it work?
with our phones reaching the limit of their form factor, we may start making them in a way that is sustainable, yet enhancing their design qualities at the same time, with harmonious results.
internal aluminum frame containing electronics
by designing a modular phone consisting of internal and external part - internal contains all the electronics which are prone to age rather quickly, enclosing them in aluminum frame that's easy to swap, disassemble and recycle, while the external part could be made of sapphire crystal, which would replace glass to eliminate its fragile nature and ensuring the longevity of the shell, with a benefit of truly seamless design.
finally, functional elements of the phone itself like cameras and buttons can enhance its structural rigidity, serving as bolts holding the sapphire shell and aluminum frame together
So when the time for annually upgraded hardware comes (think iPhone 6-6S-7-8 etc.), it could be as simple as walking into a retail store, get your internals swapped for the latest and greatest silicon and walk out with new, yet in fact recycled phone.
This opens a door for great opportunities - designers are happy as the phone can be updated easily, enabling design teams to focus on lifestyle aspect of the product like software, new color options, limited editions and freeing human resources for bigger challenges that lie ahead. Customers are happy, as their need for something new is satisfied for more reasonable price, retaining their loyalty for the brand and - finally - the earth is happy because all of this could enable to close the manufacturing loop without compromises on neither side.
learn more on pages 45-49