Google Project Ara

Many phones and devices today are thrown out because they “don’t work” or there’s a “better” one.  But wouldn’t it be great if you could buy and upgrade parts and install them yourself.  Project Ara is a modular smartphone project by Google.

Release and Pricing:

On the Project Ara FAQ it says the team is working to make a limited market (probably similar to the project Tango market) somewhere in 2015.  Like Tango, it might be made in batches and distributed to the people who requested first.  The pricing is hard to discern right now because of what the basic, entry-level parts and materials will cost.  The FAQ said the team is aiming for it to be in the $50-100 range.

ara modular phone

Why the name Ara?

The development team said this, “As it turns out, our lead mechanical designer is named Ara. And we like him. And we also like his name. So we named the phone Ara. We hope you like it too.”

Relation between Ara and Phonebloks?

Dave Hakkens made this video for something he calls Phonebloks.  The idea is much like Project Ara but it’s different in that it’s purpose is to encourage less electronic waste.

Phonebloks will not be built by the people who run it’s community because of this, “Phonebloks is an independent organisation with the purpose of encouraging the development and production of products that produce less electronic waste.”

Customization:

project ara customize

The team has looked into 3D printing Ara devices but as of now, they probably won’t.  They can however 3D print covers for parts as they say here, “…we are making the module shells out of injection-molded polycarbonate plastic and using a technology called dye sublimation to create the full-color, high-resolution image of your cat… or whatever else suits your fancy.”

“You can upgrade different parts of your phone when you need too. Replace a broken display. Save up for a high-end camera. Share a module with your family, or swap one with your friends. Now you don’t have to throw your phone away every few years. ”  That was basically what I said at the first part of this post, but I like how they said it.

I’ve been trying to post this for more than two weeks.  I will try and get another post on tomorrow but I’m not sure.  I just realized this is the first post of the year, yay!  Thanks for reading and check back soon.