Google are aiming to disrupt the smartphone game with Project Ara. Being announced some time ago before disappearing, Project Ara is back. This device will be a customizable smartphone. Google have been able to work through some of the issues and release a version for testing later this year. It is hoped that a version for consumers will be available next year.
Google’s Project Ara is a smartphone with modules. These modules allow the user to design their smartphone how they want, to get the features and functions they want. Currently, users end up with a vast array of options that don’t always suit their needs. Some users need a really good camera, others need expanded memory, some want an E-ink screen for reading while others want some for video. When choosing a smartphone, you’ve probably wished “I want this one for that feature, that one for that function”, but couldn’t find one that matched your actual needs. Project Ara, if it lives up to the hype, will change how users choose a smartphone.
Modules of Project Ara
The base of Project Ara will be the hardware. Google learned that users don’t want to choose their processor or RAM, so they will offer these as stock. The modules that could be available are speakers, screens, cameras, style modules (For look), microphones and more. Storage modules could be a choice as well.
Google has found that users tend to put together their devices differently. What is a defining function for one person may mean nothing to someone else. Or a user’s needs may change. Developers will have the chance to create modules for Project Ara later this year. What will be developed, or how many developer kits will be sold is unknown.
The Beginning of a Disruption?
Another thing that’s unknown is where this idea will lead. Tablets and other devices could be based on a module design. Google are starting with a smartphone as that’s an everyday device for a lot of people. What users want and how they will use the final device from Project Ara is unknown. How this device will connect to the internet of things and what possibilities the future could bring for it are interesting questions.
Project Ara has the ability to disrupt the smartphone industry. For the last few years, it felt as if upgrading your smartphone every few years wasn’t worth it. What will come from Project Ara will be known in the next year.