Google Project Ara detailed; Modular smartphones to launch commercially by Q1 2015

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Google might have sold Motorola, but it hasn’t gotten over its ambitious projects that were created in its two year reign at the helm of the company. Google retained the ATAP division in the Lenovo deal for Motorola and it seems to pushing through for innovative devices.

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One of the projects currently in the works is the Google Project Ara, a project that will provide you customizable phones, in which almost every part of the smartphone would be customizable according. Paul Eremenko, head of the Google Project Ara division has announced that Project Ara smartphones might be commercially available as early as the start of next year.

Other Modular smartphones

Modular smartphones have the potential to become the next big thing in the smartphone industry, with Motorola Moto Maker project already providing customers with little customizations and the ZTE Eco-Mobius modular smartphone project in the works.

Project Ara – in the works

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When Google sold Motorola to Lenovo, it did not sell the division responsible for Project Ara, indicating that there is definitely a future for the project planned. Google has also announced the Project Ara developers conference, which will take place this April along with an upcoming Project Ara developer’s kit.

How will Project Ara work?

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How the Google Project Ara will work is pretty interesting. Google will actually design and sell the basic skeleton of the phone, called Endo to consumers. This will be an Aluminium frame that will hold together the different parts of the smartphone. The modules in which different parts will be fitted will be held together by latches at the back – containing the battery, antennae and other stuff, which will be held in place by Electropermanent magnets, which can be locked or unlocked by an accompanying app.

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As far as modules go, they will be firstly mass produced by Google and then maybe in the future, personalized and printed by 3D printers.

Project Ara Costing

Google plans to sell the Endo part of the smartphone as ‘Grayphone’ for an affordable price of $50. It will come with an app that will help you choose different modules according to what you want. There will also be actual stores where you would be able to put together and buy a modular smartphone.

Project Ara – A future reality or just wishful thinking?

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Its not like everyone is up on the Project Ara bandwagon. Some detractors believe it is too good to be true, while others say that it might be one of Google’s ambitious projects taken up and then abandoned just because it was, well, too dreamy. Others say that in a complex smartphone industry, the nexus between smartphone companies and component manufacturers will not allow it to flourish.

But, the project head, Eremenko, states that he follows a philosophy of ‘build it and they will come’ which provides a little hope. But there are significant things to be achieved to make this project commercially achieved, one  of which is the $50 Grayphone.

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