Google Plans to Launch Modular Smartphone via "Project Ara" Early Next Year
February 27, 2014 1:31 PM
It should have a working prototype in weeks
Google's Android operating system offers a high level of software customization in smartphones, but Google wants users to be able to customize smartphone hardware as well.
, Google could have a modular smartphone in the hands of customers by early 2015, which would allow them to piece together speakers, batteries, processors and more of their choice.
Motorola initially announced
a few months ago, which is the original modular smartphone idea. But when Google
sold Motorola to Lenovo
in January for $2.91 billion USD, many wondered what happened to Project Ara.
As it turns out, Google kept Motorola's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, which encompassed Project Ara.
The project is alive and well, and is run by former director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Regina Dugan. Google has partnered with NK Labs to do the electrical, mechanical, and software engineering, and also with 3D Systems to make a high-speed 3D printer for Ara endoskeleton production.
spoke with Paul Eremenko, head of Project Ara, who confirmed some details behind the new modular smartphones.
[SOURCE: Motorola Blog]
Google plans to sell an endoskeleton for $50, which would simply act as a structural frame for the other components. Made of an aluminum frame, the endoskeleton will come in three sizes: mini, medium and jumbo. They will also have networking circuitry, a back-up battery, module connectors and Wi-Fi (they won't come with a cellular connection).
From there, users can put their phones together by selecting a display, keyboard, processor, camera, etc., which connect to the endoskeleton via the module connectors.
"We want not just to create something that's custom, and not even just something that's unique, but actually something that's expressive so that people can use this as a canvas to tell a story," said Eremenko. "So that you can set your phone down at dinner on the table next to you, and it becomes a topic of conversation for the first fifteen minutes of dinner."
The idea is to let users swap out modules as they malfunction, or when upgrades become available. The phone doesn't need to be shut off in order to do so, and users will be able to do the swaps themselves.
Google said a functional prototype should be ready in weeks, and should be available to customers early next year.
Google and Motorola aren't the first to produce a modular smartphone. The now-defunct Modu launched the world's lightest phone -- the Modu 1 -- in mid-2008.
Back in October 2013, Project Ara
partnered with PhoneBloks
creator Dave Hakken for the project.
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
Google to Sell Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91B, Takes $7B+ Net Loss
January 29, 2014, 5:56 PM
Googlerola Backs Modular "LEGO" Style Build-it-Yourself Smartphone Push
October 29, 2013, 2:35 PM
Nintendo Announced Next Game Machine to be Portable “handheld”.
October 21, 2016, 5:00 AM
Do you hate to do yard work?
October 20, 2016, 5:00 AM
Smart Technology Mood Collar To Understand Your Dog’s Emotions
October 17, 2016, 5:00 AM
iBeat: A heart monitoring smartwatch that can save lives by Monique C. Bethell, Ph.D
October 8, 2016, 10:25 AM
How Difficult it is to Buy Electronics
October 7, 2016, 6:00 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Problems with Windows 10 – Update Now
October 15, 2016, 7:30 AM
End of the Road for the Audi R8 e-tron
October 15, 2016, 5:00 AM
Is Razer Blade Stealth Laptop For You?
October 16, 2016, 5:00 AM
Bluetooth Saves Lives
October 16, 2016, 7:05 AM
IBM – Cloud Object Storage Cheaper than Amazon S3
October 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Nasa Flies Drones at Nevada Airport
Oct 21, 2016, 8:21 AM
T-Mobile Data Problems
Oct 20, 2016, 10:17 AM
Annoying Apple Watch Problems and How to Fix Them
Oct 20, 2016, 5:00 AM
Your Mail May Soon Be Delivered By Robot
Oct 19, 2016, 9:34 AM
2018 Jeep Wrangler Prototype Sells At Junkyard
Oct 18, 2016, 5:00 AM
Samsung Shines with Gold Edition Tablet
Oct 17, 2016, 9:24 AM
Tesla Hints Mysterious Product Debut for October 17th
Oct 16, 2016, 10:14 AM
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones on US flights
Oct 15, 2016, 5:00 AM
Comcast Fined $2.3 Million For Unconfirmed Services Charged To Customers
Oct 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
“American singer / songwriter “Bob Dylan is awarded 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Oct 13, 2016, 10:33 AM
Battery Defect in Medical Device
Oct 12, 2016, 5:00 AM
IBM Bolsters Social Services Sector With Technology Grants
Oct 11, 2016, 5:00 AM
Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate but US Still Toys With Skepticism
Oct 10, 2016, 5:00 AM
IMEX America Trade Show
Oct 9, 2016, 10:00 AM
Phone Wars – Google VS Samsung Free Gifts on Purchase
Oct 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Member of Parliament’s opposition car exploded in Tbilist capital of Georgia
Oct 5, 2016, 2:52 PM
US Government Cuts Cord On Internet Oversight
Oct 3, 2016, 10:34 AM
Are farm children less likely to have allergies and asthma in adulthood?
Sep 30, 2016, 5:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information