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PhoneBlocks, Project Ara by Google

PhoneBlocks, Project Ara by Google

April 12, 2014 5:05 pm0 comments

A project that have been (and still does) interesting me is the project Ara. Project Ara is a project that Google runs which is supposed to revolutionize the phones. It’s in the development phase now and we don’t know when it will reach the market. Project Ara is a modular phone concept which will let you exchange single components. This means that you could add functions that aren’t on the phone.  Or you could upgrade them when they get too old.

You could add or uppgrade things like:

  • Camera
  • Flashlight
  • Camera
  • CPU
  • Extra battery.
  • Speakers
  • Broken parts
  • Display

Click the “Read More” button to read more. You’ll alo find some videos in the end.

This should be able to increase the length of the phone significant. It also has an environmental aspect since you don’t need to throw away the entire phone, just the old components.

The thought is to hold the modules on place with electromagnetism. This will hold the component so good that they decided to have the modules open as a part of the design. Therefore there’s no mobile shell you can change. But instead you can change the shell of each module. The module itself is capsuled, so it’s no worries to break it when exchange the shells.

This perfect is perfect for customization. You can not only exhange the modules. You can also take out the display the media bar below. As mentioned before, you can also change shells for each module so it fits the color to the other one, It make sense, since you could have old module and want to add a new one.

The thing keeping all the module together is called an Endo and is for now designed in three different sizes.

Module for occasion. You might do different things and could prepare the phone for it. If you’re going out camping you might need an extra or bigger battery and a flashlight, but might not need the Wifi module. If going to hang out with your friend you might want some music and could add extra speakers. If you’re going on a tourist trip you might want to have a better camera, but do not need the flashlight or the Wifi. You could also separate work from personal life by changing identity of the phone with one module.

Google want to have control of the platform, but will let developers design modules for it so that all could join. However, for modules to be sold in Google’s stores you must be certified.

I’m also excited about is when other products will start using the concept. To use my Smart TV as an example. It’s good now, but in 5 years, what will it be like then? Probably not something I would use, I would probably add something external and just not use the Smart TV hardware attached at the TV. Using modules I could just upgrade the processor. If the TV format is changed so it uses bigger sizes and the Wifi can’t handle it, I could just change the Wifi module to a faster one.

It’s still an ongoing project so feature might change.

The release date is not yet announced. My guess would be to see the first phone in about one year from now. So April 2015. We’ll see if I get right.
Edit: It’s now announced that release will be in January 2015

Here is a video where Google Ara is discussed:

Get to know the Team behind Project Ara:

How would you Costomize your Google Ara phone?

/Baron