It turns out that Google’s Project Ara might actually be about to turn into a real thing after Google today announced that it would be in a position to ship developer hardware to those who need it as soon as Q4 of this year with about half a dozen interchangeable modules to play with. As if that wasn’t interesting enough, Google went on to say that it also expects to have a consumer-ready version of its modular smartphone in the hands of the paying public at some point in 2017. That’s next year!
With Google I/O 2016 running through this past week, attention turned to some of Google’s less concrete products today, and Project Ara is undoubtedly the most eye-catching of anything hardware-related that Google is working on right now.
Taking a modular smartphone as the jumping off point, Project Ara allows users to add and remove different modules depending on what they need to do at any given moment. The phone doesn’t even need to be rebooted. Need to take a high-quality photo? Add a camera module. Need to record some audio? Add a microphone module, and so on. The possibilities are almost limitless, and that’s the kind of thing Google excels at.
Now, of course, there are, no doubt, plenty of people pointing the finger at LG’s G5, the first mainstream handset to feature something a little similar to what Ara promises. And yes, the LG does have a modular element to it, but Project Ara takes things much further by theoretically allowing users to add improved processors and other internal hardware that would normally not be user-changeable.
If you thought changing batteries and adding memory cards was good, you’re going to love what Project Ara has in store.
And with 2017 just around the corner – kind of – we might not have to wait too long to try the thing out for ourselves.
Google released a new video today showcasing what Project Ara is capable of. You can check it out below:
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