We have already reported on Project Ara, Google’s Modular Phone here, so building a layer on the story, today we look at why this phone is a good idea. Last month, Google hosted its first Project Ara developer’s conference and gave out more information on the project. Presently, the Advanced Technologies and Products (ATAP) team is overseeing the project and hopefully by January 2015 we will have our hands on this device.
Let’s start with the mother of all reasons: affordability. Starting at a base price of $50 (for the entry level “Grey Phone” model), Google hopes to connect the 5 billion folks who miss out on the pleasures of a Smartphone. Case-point two is the idea itself. Imagine creating a phone with modules that can be bought and upgraded at anytime! Google geniuses, some of who also once worked for DARPA sure have an ace up their sleeve.
As a spin-off point, thanks to the modularity of the components, the repair costs for a faulty part or replacement should not cost an arm and a leg.
Thanks to the modular nature, the longevity of the phone has increased. This is benefit number four! You will never own an outdated phone and upgrades will be a breeze, given the minimum two-year contract that most Smartphones come with. Presently, Google has planned mini, medium and large skeletons with swappable parts.
Extensive Customization: benefit number five is the second most important feature of this super-phone. Total customization helps you build a true high-end Smartphone and at the same time, if you decide to go thrifty, you at least have the basic gear.
Reason number six is that Google is considering 3D printed designs, giving us various options to choose from. The easily swappable parts are an innovative feature. No need to glue or stick on parts, simply place the part in position and it is held in place thanks to the electromagnets.
Lastly, Google will be retailing the skeletons and the modules directly. Apparently, Google has plans to kick-start with the “Grey Phone” and customers can choose from a mini, medium or large skeleton and then select the modular components that they wish to add to the phone.