Project Ara was announced some time ago as the idea to make a modular smartphone. In theory you'll be able to buy a base and insert all of the hardware yourself. The whole structure is held together by magnets. All of the modules interact using superfast wireless protocol and deliver a personalised mobile experience. The modules include (amongst others):
- the CPU
- the screen
- other custom modules created by the community of developers
Another key aspect of Project Ara is that any manufacturer (including the big ones) can create modules for the smartphone. This breaks through into the whole new world of exciting applications: 3D mapping of indoor spaces, interactive security as well as anything that relates to the needs of specific users.
Of cause if any part gets damaged or does not fulfil user requirements, it is easy to replace or upgrade.
However, a couple of downsides exist to the modular design. First of all, the battery life will be 20-30% shorter. Second, the phones will get thicker and heavier.
The first Project Ara phone: the Spiral 2 is going to be available early this year. Just a couple of days ago there was a conference in Mountain View, CA, where Google announced the first release of a Project Ara phone. Unfortunately for us at Ediblefly, the phone will only be available in Puerto Rico.
We certainly hope that the project will develop further and it won't be too scary for consumers to buy. The possiblities of modular design are endless. We have already started developing a phonocopter in Ediblefly :)