After working on the modular phone initiative for almost two years now, Google has finally announced an update to its much hyped Project Ara. Google say that they will start shipping the developer edition this fall; while the consumer version will be coming out sometime in 2017.
Project Ara first started in 2013 under ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) but has since been separated to become its own division in Google. The initiative was delayed past its 2015 deadline when it failed to deliver on a Puerto Rican pilot project, where the phone was supposed to be sold from food trucks. Google has yet again delayed Project Ara to a supposed consumer launch date of 2017 and there will be a slight redesign to make it happen.
Rather than a completely open framework, Project Ara will have its hardware fixed into the frame. This would mean static processors, sensors, antennas, battery and from what we know a 5.3-inch display. That said, the modular smartphone will have six modular slots according to the project website, with swappable modules like GPS and cameras.
In fact, partners are already on board working on modules for Ara including Panasonic, TDK, iHealth, E Ink, Toshiba, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and Samsung. There are also limitless potentials for add-ons like projectors, fitness tracker and an e-ink display. In Google’s own word, they are looking to module makers to create technology never before seen on smartphones.
Google has already opened registration to developers who have an idea or are interested to build modules for Project Ara. For more information, head over to the Ara website.