There was a viral video campaign launched before MWC 08 where this mysterious modu device was being shown. All the details were revealed at the show and I had a chance to meet with them this morning. The modu is a very small 1.5 ounce device that serves as the brains of a mobile phone that can then be placed in jackets or mates to extend the functionality and design, depending on a users needs.
The modu device itself is a fully capable mobile phone that has internal memory ranging from 1GB to 16GB, runs on a TI processor, has a Bluetooth radio with A2DP support, functions as an MP3 player, and has a quad-band GSM phone. The second generation launching in 2009 will also have an HSDPA radio for 3.5G data.
You can use it as it is, but the idea is that you use a jacket or mate to extend the functionality and features. The device will have an initial MSRP of EUR200 that will include two jackets that the customer selects from the store. Jackets will range in price from EUR20 to EUR60.
Mates are larger jacket enclosure like the large display device shown in my first video above. The bedside mate shown in the video below allows you to pop your modu on the mate and then use it as your alarm. There is also a curved display around the alarm that can show you text messages if you want. These jackets and mates can be designed with batteries to add more to life to the 500 mAh internal battery, cameras, speakers for music, fashion style for going out, and virtually anything you can think of.
As someone who changes phones quite often this idea of keeping a "central brain" is rather compelling. I would want to see something like this with more power for my on-the-go smartphone usage, but I can see this appealing to many people. Carriers may also like this since they can then reduce some of the costs associated with customer service problems as people switch phones and cannot get their data from one handset to another.