Google has been working on a modular smartphone – called Project Ara. With the Project Ara’s smartphone the Spiral 2 prototype- it comes with a 5 megapixel camera but you can do something that you cannot do with another smartphone- you can change out the lens and add more powerful lens. Project Ara is like no other smartphone; it allows you to pick and choose from a pile of parts to make the phone you want.
Project Ara is ran out of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group and the sole intention is to allow smartphone users the ability to decide what you want, when you want.
Project Ara is not the most beautiful phone as it is a rectangular phone that is subdivided into smaller rectangular segments. The back is full of circuit boards and contacts and that is where you put on the rectangular blocks for each module. One block would be for the camera and another for the processor. Another part of Google’s Project Ara is that you can add the screen you want and if it breaks, you just pop that one off and add another screen. According to rumors, the rectangular frames will come in different sizes so you can choose from different sized screens and handsets. Part of the rumors discussed how you would be able to hookup medical equipment to the device as well or add a special game pad to the smartphone to enhance your experience.
From Google’s Project Ara, the prototype smartphone- the Spiral 2, has 8 interchangeable modules- you can put the modules anywhere on the device- so the camera could be moved anywhere on the smartphone and you can put it in the best place for you.
The rumors state that cost will be based on what parts you pick- with high end parts, like a 4K display will cost more than a regular HD screen. You will be able to decide where to invest the money and pick what upgrades you want. Another cool feature of Google’s Project Ara is that when it comes to upgrading- you get to choose, when to upgrade, what to upgrade and you do not have to get another phone! You will just switch the parts you don’t want with new parts- this makes Project Ara cheaper unless you decide to switch bodies.
Google announced that Project Ara will be released sometime in 2015- only in Puerto Rico- dates have not been set and it is still unknown the time frame for the launch. Google has signed two carriers from Puerto Rico for Project Ara, they are Claro and Open Mobile. Puerto Rico was chosen by Google due its large volume of internet traffic- it is roughly 75 percent of the country plus the country has plenty of feature phone users and Puerto Rico has the right mix of smartphones in the market.
Rumors have Toshiba building two processors for Project Ara and have created the camera for Project Ara. The modules are supposed to be created by Yezz. Google is hoping to have at least 20 to 30 modules for the launch. Pricing will depend on the specifications you choose and the body style. There is speculation that Google’s Project Ara could cost more than smartphones with the same specifications.
I cannot wait to see what exactly Google Project Ara will truly look like since prototypes do not always look the finished project. Also, there is still a bit of a battery life issue and other little bugs that need to be worked out for the finish product. I will wait for the finished product- hopefully it wont be too much longer.