Google has solidly supported the modular phone concept and even dedicated its resources under ‘Project Ara‘.
The Modular Phone concept has changed many mentors. It began with a viral video concept titled ‘Phonebloks’, which was taken up by Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group. But Google had bought Motorola Mobility and hence Google became the eventual guardian for the project.
Interestingly, when Google sold its struggling Motorola Mobility division to Lenovo, it didn’t sell off the entire thing. It chose to retain Project Ara for itself and even gave it momentum. The futuristic modular smartphone program, Project Ara has very few details out yet.
But the company is slowly divulging them. One of the biggest revelations will come in 10 days, when the Project Ara Developers Conference begins on April 15th. Google recently announced that it was moving forward with Project Ara, publicizing that the basic system might be sold to consumers for as little as $50. Though this might be just a teaser, Phonebloks YouTube channel has a new video that offers a sneak–peek into the progress of Project Ara.
Explaining Project Ara isn’t difficult, but building the phone sure is. Project Ara is essentially like a smartphone made of high-tech legos, explains Latin Post. The phone begins its journey as a base–plate that serves as the ‘body’ of the phone and various components can be later added or replaced as hardware blocks.
The video doesn’t offer many details, but the world does get a glimpse of the first production worthy prototype named ‘Endo’, which is the baseplate upon which hardware blocks will be attached by electromagnets. Google engineers even demonstrate the electro-permanent magnetic attachment system, which stays locked on even when the ‘phone’ isn’t powered on.
Google has taken an initiative to create a fully customizable modular smartphone that’s manufactured by a high-speed 3D printing production platform. This ensure lower–development costs, while extending the life of the actual device by swapping out malfunctioning components and the most important aspect, customization for individual needs.
The beauty of the project lies in meeting individual needs through mass–production of interchangeable components. For example, a hiker may need a bigger battery and camera, but doesn’t care much of gaming. Hence he may choose hardware blocks that have a bigger battery and camera module, but a smaller and cheap processing block and screen.
Google dreams that one day in the near future, Project Ara will encourage companies to make swappable components that will also reduce the global waste. What would be your ideal combination in Project Ara?
[Image Credit | Latin Post]