Gadgets: The world's lightest Modu-lar phone

If you're in the market for a new phone, don't buy anything - yet.

modu 248 (photo credit: )
modu 248
(photo credit: )
If you're in the market for a new phone, don't buy anything - yet. Try to hold out with your old phone for a couple of months or so; super-glue the pieces of your old phone that are falling apart, or something. Trust me, it'll be worth it. Why? Because in a couple of months you'll be able to get your Modu, the super-cool "modular" cellphone that will be the newest, coolest phone you ever had - guaranteed to make even iPhone owners jealous! Cellphones have long outgrown their original function of providing mobile voice communications; today, they're used as PDAs, MP3 and video players, cameras, scanners - my kid's phone even has a flashlight! Modu CEO Dov Moran says that the company takes that functionality to its logical conclusion. Instead of just providing a couple of functions, Modu phones provide unlimited functionality. All the user has to do is flip the Modu phone's "jacket," the external cover of the phone, and they get a brand new device every time. And Modu's not just about function - it's about form, too, with the phone being officially named the "World's Lightest Cell Phone" by the Guinness Book of World Records! The Modu concept was the hit of last year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where the Kfar Saba-based company first strutted its stuff, and this year, Modu is back. This time, the company is ready to market its revolutionary product, and in advance of the show, Modu announced several deals it has signed with companies in South America and Southeast Asia. And, says Moran, Cellcom customers will be able to get Modus beginning in the second quarter of this year. A look at the concept catalog on the Modu site ( shows how the Modu will change cellphone use. There are functional jackets, like the one that lets you set up a speakerphone in a car, to a jacket made for bike riders! The bicycle jacket features a large visible, easy-to-use screen that can be easily attached and detached to and from the center of the handlebar, and allows easy operation of the phone's main features using only your thumb. There's a sports jacket, with everything you need to monitor your workouts, motivate you with an excellent music experience, and keep you safely connected. Of course, there's an "iPod-style" jacket that lets you listen to music, interrupting the songs when a call comes in. And at this week's Barcelona show, Modu unveiled its latest jacket - a "boombox" jacket, using JBL speakers, which will let you listen to your music in amazing hi-fidelity stereo. Moran says that besides looking absolutely fabulous, when you buy a Modu, you're helping the Israeli economy - no small feat during these recessionary days. "We're an Israeli-based company, and we do the R & D right here," says Moran. "The feedback we've gotten from reviewers and groups we've tested the products with has been fantastic, and we believe that Modu will be able to compete with the best of the cellphone makers. There are 1.2 billion devices sold each year, and if we can get even 1 percent of that market, we'll be quite satisfied - although we hope and believe we will do even better than that," he says. By the second half of the year, Modus will be available in a number of countries, including Israel, says Moran - and once word gets out, there's every reason to believe that demand will skyrocket. Modu plans to keep costs down, selling both devices and jackets for a price that even recession-conscious customers will be able to handle. "We spent the last year learning, and we now believe we have a product that customers will really like," Moran says. "We hope and intend to become a major player in the cellphone device market, bringing value to consumers and benefits to Israel." He's right - who wouldn't love to have a device like Modu, that can morph into something "new" each time you use it, depending on its jacket! Could we be looking at this year's iPhone?