Google's flagship phone, Project Ara is probably one of the most innovative handset to date. It promises numerous features that are not available in other brands. However, the flexibility it once boasted might be lesser than what they've promised.
A Preview Of Project Ara
Project Ara is a modular smartphone meant to be Google's first ever flagship. It is essentially a computer board with compatible modules. The device will have an "endoskeletal" frame with customizable modules such as display, camera or extra battery.
Google's goal is to come up with a revolutionary phone where the users can have the flexibility to customize its features and even assemble them conveniently. For instance, gamers can convert their handset into a gaming console while photographers can install an upgraded camera. The idea is to give the users the freedom to choose what they want in their phones. Cnet puts it as a "Lego-like phone" wherein users can assemble the phone like a jigsaw puzzle.
— Baptiste V. Bourgain (@BaptisteVB) March 4, 2015
Recently, Project Ara's official site has made an update to anticipating fans about the progress of the said device. Apparently, it has gone through several testing stages and the result implies that the functionality of the phone will be limited.
Some of the solutions they came up with include fixed base components like CPU, antenna, GPU, basic speakers, processor and RAM. The rest, hopefully, will be detachable.
This seems to be a change of plan considering that Google originally opted to modularize every single part of the phone. This new development has stirred disappointment amongst fans who were very excited about the idea.
According to a report, Ara developers researched on what users would really customize the most. They claim that by integrating the components, users can have more room for other modules.
Another change in plan is the use of pogo pins and an electronically actuated latch that keeps the Ara physically connected. Originally, the plan was to use magnet to hold the modules in place.
In an interview, with Rafa Camargo who runs Project Ara, the connectors are made of shape-shifting ""nitinol memory alloy"
"So when you pass a current, it actually contracts and you can do mechanical things with it" Camargo added " - but now I can control electronically, which means I can control it from software."
Google Project Ara is still on progress and fans might need to wait later this year before getting their hands on this innovative phone.