Modular products are products composed of interchangeable components. This may allow customers to customize, repair and reuse products. Module products also have numerous benefits for the seller as they are fertile ground for upselling. Products that can be customized and reused may develop a culture of creativity around them that is valuable to a brand. The following are illustrative examples of modular products.
FunctionalityModules that can be swapped to provide different types of functionality such as the lens on a camera.
ConstraintsModules that allow a product to fit into a set of constraints such as modular furniture designed to fit in almost any shape and size of space.
CreativityProducts that are meant to support creative processes such as play blocks.
PlatformsAllowing third parties to extend your products such as a game system that is open to game developers with interfaces such as game cartridges.
CultureAllowing customers to participate in the product to build a rich brand culture. For example, a game that allows users to develop mods.
CustomizationModules that allow customers to create unique versions of a product. For example, modularization is a common way to implement mass customization whereby customers can use design tools to order a unique product.
UpgradesModules that can be upgraded over time such that customers need not replace their entire device.
PerformanceModules that incrementally improve performance such as a computer that gets faster as you plug in more processors.
RoboticsModules for constructing robots or modular swarm robots that self-organize to complete tasks.Modules that allow for reuse such as data storage that can be swapped from your old mobile device into a new one.
MaintenanceThe ability to upgrade old modules that are beyond their lifespan. For example, replacing a battery on a mobile device to restore it to its original power performance.
RepairModules that allow customers or a field technician to swap out broken components to repair a product or system. For example, a field technician who can replace a broken solar module.Modules that are designed to improve the efficiency of inventory storage and shipping such as furniture that is assembled by the customer that fits into an efficient size of rectangular box.
Modular design allows for resilience whereby a module can go down and other modules continue to operate normally. As a theoretical example, an electric car could have a large number of independent power units. If one goes down, the others continue to operate normally.
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