For those who are unaware or not so familiar with the concept, Project Ara is Google’s initiative to develop an open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. This will include a structural frame that holds smartphone modules of the owner’s choice, such as a display, keyboard or an extra battery. The first model of the modular phone is expected to be released in January 2015 and could cost around $50.
After being revealed back in April that the phone’s battery will be hot-swappable, allowing users to replace it without having to switch the phone off, we’re now hearing that the feature’s apparently not limited to the device’s battery. Project director Paul Eremenko revealed in a keynote that you’ll be able to swap the phone’s other modules around, besides the CPU and display, even if you’re writing a message or during a phone call. Simply amazing, right?
It will also run the modified version of Android L, which was needed in order to make most of the phone’s components hot-swappable. Eremenko also said that Google plans to build an online store that sells different types of modules, so will be quite interesting to see how everything will look like when it’ll be ready to be unveiled.
Phonebloks blog also reports that the first fully functional prototype will be shown at the second Ara developer conference, in December. Google is said to have partnered with such companies as Quanta, Toshiba, Rockchip, Foxconn and others for the first set of devices.
However, it’s not quite sure how will consumers react, since this innovative concept is quite different from current smartphones. And I’m not sure how many will remember to swap their camera module when they catch a beautiful panorama as opposed to just having a great smartphone to do all that. But if it comes at a great price, there could be many pioneers to embrace modular phones.