Google buys Modu modular smartphone patents

first_imgBack in 2008 there was an Israeli company by the name of Modu going in a very different direction to anyone else with its smartphone designs. Rather than come up with a single smartphone unit, the company instead decided to produce a tiny phone module that could be plugged into different functionality jackets.Unlike other smartphones where you keep them for a couple of years and then get a new one, Modu gave you a core module, and let you buy the jackets that fitted your needs as and when they came to market. Or you could buy multiple jackets to fit different situations such as a large display touchscreen jacket for gaming, or a low power small jacket for work. There was even a plan to let the module plug into a laptop for 3G Internet.The idea was sound, but the implementation took far longer than it should have with more than a year passing before we heard anything from Modu again after that initial idea launch.Skip forward to today and the company has had its doors closed for a few months having run out of cash in January. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing of value left in Modu’s assets, and Google has decided to buy its patent portfolio for $4.9 million. While that money will be used to pay off Modu’s debts and give ex-staff money they are owed, Google now has itself a few dozen new patents to play with.What intrigues us is what Google intends to do with those patents. We don’t know specifics, but they must relate in some way to modular phone designs and communications between devices. Could a future Nexus smartphone have such functionality and accessories? Otherwise, Google may have just spotted a few gems in the patent collection it was worth getting hold off for future patent battles with other companies.Read more at BGRlast_img

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