Google piecing together a modular phone

May 21, 2016

Google showed off a modular Android-powered smartphone it said is on track to hit the market next year.

Word that Project Ara was moving ahead, and not shelved as some had speculated during the past year, came on the final day of Google's annual developers conference in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View.

Developers interested in creating applications for the devices will get access to early versions of Ara, which provides a frame in which modules such as cameras, speakers, and sensors can be re-arranged by users like game pieces so as to customize handsets.

Google said that a consumer version of Ara should be available next year.

When the first Ara prototype was unveiled early last year at World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Google expressed hope the approach would provide easier access to smartphones for people in developing countries.

The principle is simple: basic structures are designed to hold screen modules, batteries, cameras, sensors, 3G, Wi-fi or other components snapped into place with the help of magnets.

If a mobile phone breaks or an updated model is released, instead of buying a new handset a user could simply swap out components.

Pricing of Ara had yet to be revealed, but Google last year referred to an entry-level model with a production cost of $50. Plans to launch Ara in Puerto Rico last year were scrubbed.

Explore further: Puerto Rico market pilot set for Project Ara phone

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betterexists
1 / 5 (2) May 21, 2016
I have a Task for Google.
You are watching a Movie in a Foreign Language that you know.
You come across a word/expression you are still NOT aware of!
You should be able to pause the movie. Go back Step by Step, with the GREATEST GOOGLE (Still may be not...There may be others in the offing) to provide translations...Scores of them that fit your needs!
I see SOME FOOLS commenting here ALWAYS...They go into my Ignore List in a jiffy...NEVER READ AGAIN!
They seem to be from Religious Trash.
xponen
not rated yet May 21, 2016
Nice! It's probably less durable than an integrated smartphone, but it's probably easier & cheaper to service. Also, we could opt out some module to reduce starting price, and upgrade later.
Steve 200mph Cruiz
not rated yet May 22, 2016
I think this is going to be the next big thing
antigoracle
not rated yet May 24, 2016
With Android phone manufacturers struggling I wonder how much any company can survive producing components for a 50 dollar phone.
Google obviously has billions to burn on trinkets for geeks and just like all their poor attempts before this too will end up sitting somewhere collecting dust.

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