At first glance, it appears that the newly revealed Google Modular Ara Smartphone audience is going to be those with a passion for building their smartphones from scratch. Seen as a revolutionary innovation with Google hoping the Ara will replace the primary smartphone with its durability, which estimates around 6 years. It being a modular phone you can just replace your old CPU or camera as it gets dated.
The features of the phone and innovations remind of a Lego with the metal endoskeleton and slots for the replaceable components looking like tiles. The Ara endoskeleton, which is the spine of the phone, comprises of module slots that include everything to make your phone work but separately. This includes your processor, RAM, battery, display, baseband, power jack and every other component that makes a phone a mobile device, including a camera for example. Heavy users can install two battery modules for example as there is no limitation of what modules or amount per any Ara innovation.
Each of these replaceable modules connects with the rest of the modules installed through capacitive interconnects. The modules are held in place by electro-permanent magnets that also functions as a toggle switch, allowing you to turn specific modules not in use on and off. These modules can be swapped by other modules of a different kind or just upgraded version. Initially, there will be three different Ara sizes with the smallest carrying a six module option and the larger the screen, the more module possibilities.
Ara Grey Phone
The Google Modular Ara to be released in January 2015 division announced the release of a “Grey Phone” to be shipped at the same time. Although the retail price is not determined yet, Google revealed that the total manufacturing cost of the Grey Phone is $50. The phone will ship with only a processor, screen, and Wi-Fi from where users add their desired modules to build the type of phone they desire. The advantage this innovative design has is the possible affordability with users only adding what their budget allows.
Ara Prototype Size
Google will release three different sizes and to date showed the medium sized Ara prototype. It is in line with The Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone. The smaller and larger Ara is also in the pipeline, without any clear specs yet.
Google intend to have an e-commerce store alongside Google Play Store, specifically for modules. Users will purchase modules as they purchase apps apart from physical stores manufacturing and selling modules. Developers of the Ara hope to entice other developers in regards to building modules for competition to make the prices competitive. Developers have the ideal opportunity to develop modules with multiple functions as long as it fits within the physical constraints of the module.
Google surely has an innovative idea in regards to the affordability of smartphones with the maximum duration of phones around two years. Not only will this modular phone last years longer, but in Google’s future, only the modules are replaced and not the phone.