The Motorola / Google connection may have been relatively short lived and not exactly a perfect match, but it clearly gave Google a thirst for innovative hardware. That thirst is still being quenched today thanks to Project Ara and we can now get an additional insight of those involved with building the block based smartphone thanks to a new Phonebloks video.
If you didn’t know, Google decided to hold onto one particular section of Motorola as part of the deal that saw the company handed over to Lenovo. Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team remained Google property and continues to work on Project Ara with the intention being to build an entirely modular smartphone where owners can swap out components and hardware just like they would swap out apps on today’s mobile phones. Ara has been ongoing for some time, but seemed to be catapulted into the limelight when the department was stripped from Motorola in January.
This latest Phonebloks video is essentially a quick 210 second overview that not only introduces some of the key members of the team involved with developing Project Ara, but also gives us an insight into the technologies being developed to make the modular smartphone a reality. It’s refreshing not only to see the energy and enthusiasm that is being applied to the project, but to also see that Google is working with a number of innovative third-party companies and professionals to advance the project as quickly as possible.
As part of the video, we meet Seth Newberg, the principal engineer who is currently leading the Project Ara Electrical Engineering and Software team. Newberg and his team has developed a system that allows components of the smartphone, such as processors and camera modules, to be locked in place using electro-permanent magnets that are activated with a dosage of voltage. Not only will the project bring a reusable, affordable and easy-to-use system to people who have never used a smartphone before, but it also appears to be advancing technological breakthroughs and innovations in a number of fields.
If you want to learn more about Project Ara and the team’s mission, then sit tight, as the first official Ara Developer Conference is slated for April 15.