Project Ara: Google’s Modular Smartphone

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Google’s “Project Ara” is all about building up a modular smartphone which can be upgraded at any point of time just by replacing the respective blocks of hardware. This will be breaking news! Let’s see what Project Ara is all about.

It’s the moon shot project of the Advanced Technology and Products Group inside Google trying to build modular smartphones adding up components on the fly. It sounds like a nerd’s dream but the real dream is about how we make and buy phones in the future.

Project Ara is not a phone, it’s actually a project by ATAP, a group, is essentially just making instructions for how much our phone work. They are developing a technology for different pieces to talk to each other and working with partners to build prototypes. At the center of it is a skeleton having slots where you can put in modules. There is some wild technology behind this. They are using the next gen super fast networking technology to get all the parts talk to each other. The components manage power through the modules and uses wireless capacitive pads where the modules communicate with the main board. The modules are held together by electro permanent magnets which is a pretty neat technology. It’s a cross between a permanent magnet and an electromagnet. It uses an electrical pulse to switch between the two states i.e. on-state and off-state but it’s a passive component which means it consumes no power.

But all those components don’t add up to a phone. It’s essentially just networking. It does not have a processor, radio or a screen. Adding up all those hardware components can add up to a pretty bulkier phone. But ATAP has managed to build up something that does not look completely ridiculous.

The group has an aggressive goal of launching a real product for the consumers about a year from now. They are working with partners and small & large hardware manufacturers to build the prototype by next year. Hope to see Google’s Ara Smartphones by the end of next year.

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