Ah, the modular smartphone. Something we’ve known about for a while now, however haven’t held in our hand…ever. But, today on the last day of their I/O developer conference, Google announced that Project Ara, their own modular smartphone concept, will start to develop as a fully available consumer product which will launch next year, 2017. Developer kits of the upcoming handsets to test out the new design and different modules available will be launching later this year. Pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet, and there’s no guess to base our expectations off of as of now.
Six slots on the back of the Project Ara smartphone will allow you to add any type of module available that will fit in said slots. Cameras, secondary screens, speakers, and more will all be available as modules from partners such as Samsung, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, E-Ink, Toshiba, Harmon, iHealth, and more.
The way these modules work is via a high-speed and low power way. As 9to5Google noted,
An electromagnetic latch connects the modules to the frame with the connector capable of 10,000 cycles.
These modules in question are, according to Google, future proof, meaning all future Project Ara smartphones will be compatible with the modules that come out this and next year.
Modules also work as simply plug-and-play accessories that don’t require your phone to be rebooted. To eject a module, simply use the built-in app on your phone or say, “Ok, Google. Eject the camera”.
It’s going to be interesting to see just how popular a modular smartphone will be. Amongst technology personal, it’s super exciting. Amongst the public, however…well… that has yet to be determined. We’ll see how the public responds to Project Ara next year when the smartphone officially launches and is available for purchase.
Are you excited for Project Ara? Let us know your thoughts below!