Project ARA : Google’s Latest Tech

project ara

Intro to Project Ara

Project ARA is the code-name for an initiative that aims to develop an open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. The platform will include a structural frame or endoskeleton that holds smartphone modules of the owner’s choice, such as a display, camera, flash, speakers, a powerful CPU/GPU, an extra battery, Night Vision maybe!

project ara

 

Despite its showcase in Google’s I/O Conference in 2014, the modular device is coming in developers’ hands in fall 2016. Google is trying to do the same tweak it did with software part by making android an open source project, this time in case of hardware part. You too can become a part of it just by going to Project Ara’s official site and registering yourself, even if have the tiniest idea or full development for a module. If you’ve been living under a rock and know nothing about Project Ara, Check out the videos below :

 

Technical

The project was originally headed by the Advanced Technology and Projects team within Motorola Mobility while it was a subsidiary of Google. Although Google has since divested Motorola to Lenovo, it retained the Advanced Technology and Projects group—which has since worked under the direction of the Android division. It now has its own business unit within Google’s mysterious Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, and the nearly magical modular hardware we’ve been anticipating for years is indeed getting closer. ATAP Head of Creative Blaise Bertrand confirmed at Google’s I/O conference that a new developer phone will be available in Q4 of this year with a “thin, light, beautiful” consumer Ara phone to follow in 2017.

project ara

project ara

project ara

Ara will be available in 3 sizes.

Ara Frames
Frame Size Rear Module Slots
Mini 118 × 45 × 9.7 mm
(4.65 × 1.77 × 0.38  in)
2 x 5
Medium 141 × 68 × 9.7 mm
(5.55 × 2.68 × 0.38  in)
3 x 6
Large 164 × 91 × 9.7 mm
(6.46 × 3.58 × 0.38  in)
4 x 7

Modules

It would allow users to swap out malfunctioning modules or upgrade individual modules as innovations emerge, providing longer lifetime cycles for the handset, and potentially reducing electronic waste. Project Ara smartphone is scheduled to begin pilot testing in the United States in 2016 with a target bill of materials cost of $50 for a basic grey phone.

project ara

The new Ara frame supports up to six modules, which form what Google calls the “World’s first UniPro Network” with the phone. Don’t worry, Future frames can be larger or smaller, and future modules will also be compatible with earlier Ara devices. Most importantly, it seems much, much easier to install modules and start using them. All you have to do is plug one in and you’re good to go; the process doesn’t even require a reboot. Ejecting them is simple too, if a little more involved: You’ll have to jump into the settings app and select which module you want to eject. Once done, the module physically pops up from the back of the device. You’ll even be able to eject modules with voice commands like “OK Google, eject the camera.”

project ara

project ara

 

Customization

Customizing this modular device would be endless. Infinite number of combos will be available. You can have a fair idea by checking the images below :

project ara

project ara

project ara

project-ara_1200x1200

 

Google Home coming this fall. Check out here.

 

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Project ARA : Google's Latest Tech
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Project ARA : Google's Latest Tech
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Project ARA is the code-name for an initiative that aims to develop an open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones.
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