Project Ara modular phone – next era smartphone?

It was the dream of anyone who likes to build your own PC: Do the same with your phone with Project Ara.

It will be launched next year. Project ARA, developed by Google is a modular phone, a project that was presented first time three years ago, is coming in 2017, and it’s a little different from what we expected.

project ara

Project ARA

At the beginning of the project it was hoped that ARA project will be a game changer for all components, from the processor, storage, memory, the display, battery, speakers, radios and so on. This level of modularity was not to be available unfortunately.

The basic components such as CPU, are now fully integrated in the phone casing. And that is ok. Integration of basic components such as CPU/RAM/Display guarantees that they will be properly optimized. ARA Project will be supplied with four basic modules:

-a powerfull speaker

-an E-Ink display such as a Amazon Kindle

-a camera

-and a memory module.

These are the basic functions, but there will be more functions that will vary as desired. From the ability to include multiple modules for better sound, or multiple batteries, the specialized modules such as a digital key for the car, a pepper spray, a module for measuring blood alcohol content (blowing into the vial will never be the same) or dedicated modules for medical applications, such as a meter for diabetics.

We can expect the possibility of an industry dedicated to start- ups that will revolutionize the phone market by launching phone modules. We bet that if Project ARA will be successful, will not be the only phone of its kind.

Rafa Camargo, Google engineer leading the development team Project Ara said: “We want to create an ecosystem for hardware that is the size of the software ecpsystem”.

The interface enabling interconnection modules is called Greybus, and has a transfer speed of up to 11.9 gigabits per second, faster than the standard USB , but with a power consumption three times lower.

Future necessity of new functions can be achieved by changing a module, and updating phone performance is moving to a new frame and keeping the modules that interest us. And the applicability is not limited to phones. We would not be surprised to see tablets and other devices featuring compatibility rwith these modules.

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