The start of 2015 will be the kickoff for yet another upcoming technology- a $50 customizable modular phone by Google. I feel as though Google does not stop creating a new thing each week. And because it is Google, there is obviously a huge perk to the phone. This current project, known as Project Ara, is to create phones that users can easily modify by switching their parts as though they are Lego blocks.
As we backtrack, Project Ara began in late 2012 under subsidiary Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP). Even though there are only a few people working on this creation, Google hopes to have it completed within the next few weeks. If all goes well, the sales will begin by the first quarter of 2015.
ATAP is obviously taking a huge stride to deliver this cost-effective, $50 smartphone. Or, would you even call it that?
Only the first sold phones will include Wi-Fi, not a cellular connection. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Owners of this smartphone will purchase more add-ons and turn their phone into one that’s more capable. This device will have a mini, medium or jumbo-sized backbone in which they will all use a backbone that modules connect to.
Project Ara’s leader, Paul Eremenko, said,
“The question was basically, could we do for hardware what Android and other platforms have done for software? Which means lower the barrier to entry to such a degree that you could have tens to thousands or hundreds of thousands of developers as opposed to just five or six [manufacture] that could participate in the hardware space.”
ATAP is working with a 3D printer to allow buyers to customize the material and style of each module’s enclosure. The enclosures may be swappable as well.
Google is still working to meet the $50 price it has its eye on. Within a year, there will be a lot of work to be done but with the motivation this Google team has, I have no doubts in my mind that this will be a huge success. With the idea of creating a phone with removable pieces and the affordability of the cellular, it is not a product anyone could pass up- especially for being a smart phone.
What are your thoughts about this project? How do you think sales will be when it is first launched? I am curious to hear your thoughts! I am most of all excited about the pieces that are similar to Legos. That was my game back in the day…..I like that Google is sort of bringing that nostalgia back.
Rodriguez, S. (2014, February 27). Google hopes to deliver $50 customizable modular phones by early 2015. chicagotribune.com. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-google-50-customizable-modular-phones-2015-20140227,0,4380785.story