In 2013, Google Glass enhanced the utility of software in smart phones and this time they have planned a hardware enhancement project, Google ARA. Project ARA, named after Google’s mechanical designer, is an effort by Google to let people tailor their smartphones according to their functional preferences.
A modular smartphone holds a base body (endo) and swappable parts. These swappable parts can be: Camera, battery, memory, speakers and so on.
Ara is a customizable modular smartphone. Consider the jigsaw where if you attach all the components correctly the image is formed. Similarly, ARA is a jigsaw smartphone where you can dismantle all the parts of the phone and put them together again.
What’s the best part?
There are multiple correct images and all these images can be of your choosing. To put it in a simple way, you can design the phone any way you want.
Why Google’s modular smartphone is required?
- Varying requirements of user
- After using the iPhone 5C, I was impressed with the processor, but iPhone 5C’s flash is not powerful, hence pictures clicked after the sunset were not so clear.
- My colleague selected Nexus 5 because of its image capturing capabilities, but the phone has issues with the battery backup & speakers.
Similarly, other users buy smartphones because of one or two good features, but they’ve to compromise with the other embedded features.
- Disoriented modules
Rather than you buying a new phone when there is a malfunction it is much more comfortable if parts are replaceable. This will not only increase the life of smartphone but also not chew your wallet.
Google finally realized these gaps and now we can change the modules of our phone based on our requirements.
Where will you get accessories for your smartphone?
You can purchase new modules from:
- Google online store: Just like Google play store, you can check out for new hardware accessories in Google’s online dedicated store.
Third party stores authorized by Google
What can we swap?
New modules with right size can be connected in any slot of the smartphone.
- Modules that can be swapped: Display panel, memory, cameras, main battery, speakers etc.
Specialized features that can be attached: printer port, night vision sensors, pico projectors or game controller buttons.
Do we need to shut down our smartphone ?
A small battery back up has been provided to swap the main battery which means we do not need to switch off the main body.
When can we expect launch?
We can expect the first glimpse of the smartphone by the mid of 2015 (August) as Google has already trademarked the name ‘Ara’ with the USPTO.
Google has planned the launch of Ara in Puerto Rico, as it is one the potential markets of the world. Needless to say, we are eagerly waiting for the product launch in the rest of the world.