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Sennheiser partners with Phonebloks to add audio to modular smartphones like Project Ara

Tom Morgan
12 May 2014
Project Ara
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Sennheiser has announced that it is now an official partner to the Phonebloks project, the modular smartphone now being developed by Google as Project Ara

Sennheiser has revealed it is now an official Phonebloks partner, and will be lending its audio expertise to the modular smartphone startup ahead of a retail release as a part of Google's Project Ara.

Originally founded by Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, Phonebloks is the concept of a smartphone that could be upgraded by the user rather than thrown away once it gets old and new models arrive. The modular concept could be upgraded with a range of modules which could potentially make every phone unique, with a bigger battery instead of a camera module for anyone that needs long battery life, faster processor once a new CPU goes on sale, or a better camera depending on what the owner uses their phone for.

“Every time we discard a gadget, we throw away many valuable components that are still in perfect working order," Hakkens said at the company's first developers' meeting earlier this year. "Phonebloks’ vision is to conserve natural resources and thus ensure sustainable development. Rather than buying a completely new smartphone every two years, all you will need to do with Phonebloks is replace the parts you want to upgrade.”

With Sennheiser now on board, the project has engineers that will help develop the handset's speech function and audio transmission.

“Sennheiser has the necessary technical excellence and also shares a corporate philosophy that places equal emphasis on sustainability," said Hakkens. "Its products are distinguished by first-class quality and durability and they also provide the option of replacing individual components. This sustainability ethos is an essential part of our company vision.”

Unfortunately we're still no closer to learning of an official release date for Phonebloks or Project Ara, with the latest estimates suggesting 2015 at the earliest. There's also no indication of price.

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