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Project ARA; Google’s new modular phones, allowing jaw dropping customization!
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Project ARA; Google’s new modular phones, allowing jaw dropping customization!

by Muktadir AnolJune 10, 2016

Need a better camera? A bigger storage? Or maybe a louder speaker? Not a problem! Thank Google ’cause they have something, pretty interesting, ready for you! Code named “Ara” is the Google’s modular smartphone with swappable parts.

The project is still on going and the concept is very simple, just like your PC!

project-ara-theverge-2_1020 It’s a smartphone with “plug and play” like modules and all the parts of it can be pulled off and swapped as you see fit. The platform is different from others’ because it includes a structural frame that holds smartphone modules of the owner’s choice, such as a display, a camera or even an extra battery.

The frame is the only component that will be made by Google and they kept an open marketplace for third-party module makers to utilize their creativity and for amazingly unique parts to build.The main endoskeletal frame, casually called the “endo”, acts as a motherboard linking all the modules together. Even though it is said that the frame will have all the functionality of a smartphone, thus it will have the cpu, gpu, antennas, sensors, battery and display. It gives more room for hardware in each module.

At the back there are six additional slots for modules to be slid in ‘n out. They fit very neatly to the frame for you to personalize the gadget exactly as you’d want!

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check out the video for a demo from Google’s lead engineer Rafa Camargo.

The modules may offer common smartphone features like cameras and speakers and also advanced and special features like laser pointers, pico projectors night vision sensors, flashlights, fitness trackers, app-shortcut buttons, kickstands or even game controller buttons. Every slot on the frame will accept any module of the correct size. Each slot supports upto 11.6 gigabits per second while consuming only one third of USB3 power!

Rafa Camargo also said,

“The key here is to develop the functionality you don’t get on your smartphone today. I’ll give you the smartphone, so you don’t have to worry about it.”

Even though the initial discovery of this concept was done by a Dutch designer, Dave Hakkens. The product was called the Phonebloks modular phone. Later it was handled by the Advanced Technology And Projects Team (ATAP) within Motorola mobility and finally was separated from ATAP and since then Google itself took the liberty to push the limits as far as they can.

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It is announced that the Developer Edition will be released fall 2016. Where as the consumer product might hit the market later in 2017. Stay tuned for more info and check out Google ATAP’s promotional video.

 

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