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act as remotes, an air quality analyser, a 64Gb memory backup, and a laser pointer. It is also working with third party experts to develop more specialized modules where special accreditations may be required (think medical, banking, law enforcement). But the big plan of course is to build a modular ecosystem and a hardware app store to bring users and developers together and foment innovation, for potentially thousands of different swappable modules to be brought to market. As your smartphone is sled into the modular case, the nexpaq exoskeleton connects not only via Lightning with the iPhone or Micro USB for Android smartphones, but also with Bluetooth. This means it could also be used as a remote for some applications. Six modules can be plugged-in at any given time, and as users swap in a new module, the Nexpaq app automatically updates. During its Kickstarter campaign, Nexpaq polled its backers to know for which smartphones they should make the casing shells, but all the exoskeletons share the same module footprints, so in effect, the modules are compatible between iOS and Android smartphones and could work across multiple generations of phones (as long as Nexpaq provides the appropriate shell). This makes the modules truly swappable across users. “Nexpaq will have multiple revenue streams. First we are developing the hardware and selling it, but in a second phase, as our hardware app store develops, we’ll make less money from the hardware itself but more from the data these modules will generate”, explained Murawski. “Since we’ll be offering the cloud infrastructure for the Nexpaq apps, we’ll be monitoring the data, and we could work more as a data broker enabling new data-derived services. Of course, Privacy is our priority number one, and if some users don’t want to share their data, they own it and we wouldn’t access it”, clarified the CEO. The company started with smartphones as the core engine, but far out on its roadmap, it envisages that the standardized modules could plug into other purpose-made casings. Nexpaq would only need to identify someone else’s commercial success to piggy-back its modules thanks to a new modular case. One obvious example would be to adapt the concept to tablets, but this could be extended to home monitoring hubs or even wearables, all sharing the same modules and the same cloud infrastructure. The Newest Products for Your Newest Designs® www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe July-August 2015 21 Go Widest_UK_93x277.indd 1 11/06/15 11:03


EETE JULAUG 2015
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