What the Tech?! Project Ara

Project Ara


Project Aran;

A Google initiative to introduce affordable, build-your-own smartphones. The phones are built by the owner from a selection of modules that click together and allow each handset a unique identity. The project — which hopes to bring modern smartphone technology to the each of the world’s six billion people —  was initially started by Motorola’s Advanced Technologies and Projects team (the same guys working on Project Tango), which is now a part of Google’s Android division.

Ara phones begin with a skeleton, which will be available in mini, medium, and large sizes. Then, users can add on different Phonebloks (these are the modules that serve as the guts for the phone) depending on how advanced or basic they want the phone to be. The larger the phone skeleton, the more power users can get from the modules. As the modules lose power, they can be individually replaced; creators at Google and Phonebloks hope that this will cut down on the electronic waste that results from over-regular phone updates or malfunctioning gear. Ara is a phone that could potentially be your last. As updates roll in, new features become available, or batteries lose power, simply trade in the old modules for new ones and keep the frame and other pieces in tact.

Aside from the inner-workings, users will also be able to add keyboards, front-facing speakers, chargers, and various screen sizes to totally personalize the phone. Get tired of the keyboard? Swap it out for a new screen instead of a totally new phone.

The first edition of the DIY Ara phones should be available by January 2015 for a meager $50, but there isn’t word yet on which carriers will lead the charge in supporting the phones. Check out some of the cool phones you can create with Ara and other details from The Verge.