Ara-Phone

Motorola’s pet project, Project Ara which was added to the kitty of Google’s ever growing list of “projies” after the sale to Lenovo, will sell its first devices with a price tag as low as $50. At the recently concluded LAUNCH event, Paul Eremenko, Head of Project Ara went live on his update on the project.

Project Ara, an ambitious project which lets you swap components like Lego blocks was launched last year to show off the hardware prowess that engineering could achieve. Phonebloks, the company that planned and achieved the design for this, was working closely with Google to bring this to reality.

 

The basic block or the “endo” which contains a battery and some interconnections decides the size of the phone. Users can literally change the camera, the processor or the RAM just by sliding out the old module out and pushing a new rectangular one in. All this is done without powering down the device or commonly called “hot-swapping”. This provides a lot of opportunities in terms of customizability of hardware, price as well as sales of individual components. The medium sized “endo” can support upto ten modules including the screen.

Currently, a design challenge is out on Phonebloks’ website to visualize how a potential store and a workplace could look like. Designers who contribute to the project will be rewarded by the team.

Google also announced a developer’s conference to be held during April 15-16. Selected number of people can attend it live at the Computer History Museum, Mountain View, California, while others can watch it through webstream followed by an interactive Q&A session.

ara-phone-blocks

Last year as part of its launch campaign “Make with Moto”, Motorola drove a sticker decorated van that contained a lot of hardware “goodies” like a 3d Printer, rigid flex circuit boards, sensors and cameras that can be combined to create innovative projects.

The team went to three major colleges which includes Caltech, Texas ANM and MIT. The students designed, prototyped and made working models of innovative project ideas like gesture control gloves using the hardware provided by the team.

Would you be interested in buying one or developing one? Stay tuned for further updates.

Image Courtesy – Tumblr, MotorolaAra , Android Police