Perhaps you’ve heard about Google’s plan to tackle a modular smartphone, called “Project Ara”. Personally, I’m really excited about it, but ever since the company’s initial announcement in October about the Project Ara, we haven’t exactly heard a lot of information about it. Until now.
In January, Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo but kept Project Ara within the company. Supposedly the group (led by Regina Dugan) was integrated within Google’s Android team.
Motorola had been hard at work on Project Ara for more than a year, and as you probably heard had teamed up with Phonebloks to create these modular smartphones.
So what’s the new scoop, Hannah?
I’ve got your back, readers. Time has released a new report stating that the final touches are being put on the modular smartphone with a hopeful commercial release in the first quarter of 2015.
Project Ara’s creators are calling the first version ‘Grayphone’ and supposedly Google plans to sell the smartphone for $50. Say what? Perhaps that could be explained by the fact that the smartphone only comes with Wi-Fi, and no cellular connection.
The Times report also says that the Project Ara team has built the platform to support three sizes of phones: mini, medium, and a phablet-sized model.
The awesome aspect of this modular smartphone is the obvious opportunity for customization. Users can both design the smartphone and add features as they see fit.
Ara Knaian, Lead Mechanical Engineer on Project Ara, is quoted in the report saying,
A big challenge on this project was that a cell phone is one of the most integrated things that’s made today, and we’re trying to separate it into modular pieces. And so the challenge was how to fit everything in an efficient way, so that people could have the ability at home to add and remove modules and have a lot of flexibility about what modules they put in, but not to have too much added weight or too much added cost by doing that.
The first Ara Developers’ Conference will be held in April 15-16 of this year, so expect more details to come.