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Project Ara, refers to the code name for the upcoming series of Google’s Modular Phone about to unveil in the coming year. These phones are being claimed to have the capability of being connected to a central modular board while physically every component of the phone will be easily replaceable. The whole frame of the phone will include an endoskeleton which will assist in holding all the modules of the phone as per replaced by the owner. Yes! By module replacement, we really mean module replacement, in which you can choose the camera of your own choice, you can install the RAM of your own choice, you can avail the privilege of adding a physical keyboard at your own expense and many more yet unknown to the media circles themselves. The motivation behind the Project Ara is to minimize the technological waste which is observed to have increased at an alarming level. It will also give the users another added feature of changing any malfunctioned part of the cell phone or to upgrade it with a module which has been introduced recently. The best part is, it is about to be launched in United States in the coming year where it is supposed to be available at a minor cost of about $50 thus encouraging and attracting many customers to buy it, use it and take a step into the world of Modular Phones.
Project Ara’s Goals
A spokesperson from Google, mentioned that the modular phone which they intend to introduce, will be used by a total of about “6 Billion” people across the globe. The giant figure of almost “6 billion” comprises a sum of current smart phone users, the feature phone users and those who haven’t yet used any phone till now. He further added that the Google intend to introduce a starter kit which will include a display, a battery, a low-end CPU, a RAM, a frame and a Wi-Fi connection. The price of this starter kit will be around $50.
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Another goal which Google wants to accomplish is to open the gates for the hardware developers to come and saturate the hardware development market. it will rule out the monopoly of the current hardware manufacturing giants and will induce a spirit of competition amongst all the rivals. Just like Google has brought all the software and application developers to the Google’s PlayStore where anybody with a little bit of knowledge about application development can easily develop an app and upload it over the store for the users to install, use and rate the application.
Causes of Delay in Project Ara
As the saying goes, Man Proposes and GOD Disposes. Same happened with the Google Modular Phone’s launch as well, which was expected in 2015. Maybe it dawned upon the Google Ara’s team that the modular phones are even harder than they may sound. The delay in Project ARA can be attributed to the recent launch of a modular phone introduced by LG by the name of LG G5. It is being rumored in the tech circles that with this phone being launched in the market prior to Google’s Modular Phone, has snatched away the real essence. The other reason is quite an interesting one. It is based on the critics reviews who are terming the Google’s Project Ara to be another financial black hole same as the Google Plus. According to the reviews of some credible tech experts, there are some points which should be considered before Project ARA resumes and gains its full throttle. The points are mentioned as follows:
- Manufacturing a modular phone is quite difficult because modularity comes with a long list of requirements and constraints both physical and logical.
- Since each module is replaceable, the frame which will come initially will be a stylish one though. But with the passage of time, as the user will continue adding more modules, the whole structure will start getting heavier and bulkier thus losing its charm as a phone and will portray itself like a Lego block structure.
- Every module that it comes with, will need a separate connector and a frame as well which will also add to its heavier weight.
- Every module will have to remain detached from all other modules and the component testing will add to its cost as well. So selling the starter kit at $50 makes no sense if you are going to launch a phone later with a much expensive price tag.
- The developmental cost will also be more for a modular phone as every single module installed in the phone by default will be needing testing certification which will be subjected to renew after a certain period of time to ensure the proper working of all the modules and to check whether any module shows signs of malfunctioning, needs to be removed.
Expert comments to make Project Ara successful
Tech experts have highlighted some points which, if adopted by Google in the manufacturing of modular phone, will elevate its demand ratio exponentially. The points are as follows:
- The modular phones must be same in size as the regular smart phones are coming in.
- The structure and styling should be so appealing that it catches the eye of the buyer for once and makes its use worthwhile.
- No compromise should be made on functionality and durability.
- The phone along with the modules should cost to at such an amount, so as to make it available to every user whether he/she has used a phone before or not.
So far as the race of modular phones is concerned, no any company, not even LG, has met any criteria mentioned above due to one or the other reason. One thing can be said though, now that Google has witnessed the shortcomings in LG G5 modular phone, it should try to observe them and make amendments in the Project Ara accordingly to save them from facing any inconvenience in the future. Well last but not the least, the modular phones are the future of the cell phones and Google has taken the initiative. Now it’s time for us to evaluate the product and provide the makers with our valuable feedback so that the amendments should be done with immediate effect.