Wednesday 19 August 2015

Google's Modular Ara Phone Delayed


Google’s Project Ara Delayed – 2016

Google has delayed its plan in releasing its modular smartphone concept, codenamed `Project Ara’ hardware till sometime in 2016. The Ara team had tweeted a messaging confirming the delay and shift away from plans to test the modular phone project, later this year, in Puerto Rico. However Google had been quick to note that it is in the process of exploring few locations in the US for Ara.

The explanation for the change by Google recommends that the team had been working hard in making Ara a reality. The team had told followers in a sequence of tweets,that `Project Ara is not going anywhere’, but had been set back by `lots of iteration, more than we thought’. Project Ara enables users to swap out as well as upgrade the core components of smartphone namely processor, camera etc. independently instead of replacing the complete device.

It portrayed a dramatic rethinking of the device and those attending the Google I/O were pleased when the working prototype was showed on stage in May by the company. The development of the product seems to be longer than expected but Google had earlier aimed to have between 20 and 30 Ara modules made available for the now scrapped Puerto Rico trial.

Components Can be Added/Taken Away

Project Ara seems to be Google’s interesting efforts in developing a smartphone which comes in bits, which means that certain components could be added or taken away without the requirements of complex alterations to the device. It would also be less costly to replace smashed screens or worn batteries as well as enable others to develop modified hardware for a particular task.

San Francisco based designer Garrett Kinsman while writing on a forum for developers who were interested in working on Project Ara, had said that he felt a sense of overwhelming sadness at the delay. The Project Ara team had announced at the beginning of this year that it would launch the modular smartphones this year in Puerto Rico as a part of its pilot program.

But the team has now confirmed that its phone will not launch till 2016 along with the announcement of pilot market re-route to a few locations in the US instead of Puerto Rico.

DIY Smartphone

The company has not yet revealed any particular location in the US where it intends launching modular phones. In a tweet, it said, `when? 2016’, followed by the hastags yes we are late and Project Ara - #yeswearelate and #ProjectAra.Project Ara further clarifies that the re-routing does not seem to mean that there would be no modular phone launched in Puerto Rico. It stated that `and this is not goodbye Puerto Rico’. The project expects to kick-start an era of do-it-yourself smartphones which Google has been stressing that it is not targeting weeds.

Google had showcased its Spiral 2 modular smartphone prototype in January Project Ara Spiral 2 prototypek had a HD – 720x1280 pixels screen, choice of Nvidia Tegra K1 or Marvel PX1928 processor, 5-megapixel primary camera, battery, Micro-USB port, speaker as well as connectivity options which included Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G. The Spiral 2 prototype comprised of 11 working modules inclusive of 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Receiver with light as well as proximity sensors, USB charger module and a 2x2 battery module. Spiral 3 also tends to feature the electro permanent magnets in the exoskeleton, thereby saving space in the modules.

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