Rewriting The Rules For Mobile Phones

Gear and Gadgets June 10, 2016

This comes from the search engine behemoth Google. As you may already know, Google has been on a rather secret quest over the past few years at its famed Advanced Technology and Products division to engineer a new type of Smartphone. Code named Project Ara, this mobile phone re-imagined project is about de-constructing the typical smartphone and remaking it so that now the device is what the engineers refer to as a modular smartphone.

In short, Project Ara is about manufacturing the smartphone in such a way that it is assembled out of interchangeable parts. The core idea is that users would be able to hot swap these interchangeable parts on the fly. Take a look at one example. With the Project Ara smartphone you can add on a wide angle camera to the device just in time for your hiking trip this morning. Later on, when it is time to trek out to the local high school for your kid’s soccer game, you add in a telephoto lens as well as a higher capacity battery. Are you starting to get the gist of the idea behind Project Ara?

An interesting point to note about Project Ara is that the engineers see the modular design as a clear way to lengthen the life of the smartphone. That is, instead of the current two year expected life span, the Project Ara phone would have an expected lifespan of about five years. The expected result would be a large reduction in the waste that accompanies today’s rush to upgrade process.

Is Project Ara on track to deliver a real world product in the near future? Absolutely. In fact you may well want to take note that Project Ara has only recently been repositioned away from the Advanced Technology and Products division and is now its very own division within Google itself. In fact, consumer versions of the Project Ara phone will be showing up in 2017.

Another point you will want to understand about Project Ara and the up and coming Ara smartphone is that Google is aiming to open up the mobile market to more innovation. You see, the undeniable fact is that mobile is the largest technology platform to show up. At the same time, the reality of the technology and the marketplace today is that to innovate in the smartphone arena you would need the resources of a company such as Apple or Samsung. Google is intending for the modular Ara smartphone to be the start of a new platform where anyone could contribute.


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