On day 1 of Google I/O a huge news that could possibly change smartphones evolution was announced. Project Ara, Google’s modular phone that was once just a distant side project, will be released for developers this fall. Even more ambitious, the consumer version is scheduled to come out somewhere in 2017.
As a reminder, Project Ara is a phone completely made of modules that are swappable to add more functions, effectively function similarly to LG’s G5 device. The phone is made with a new tech called Unipro that can push up to 11.9 gigabits of data in both directions (upload and download), which is an impressive feat on itself. This opens a world of possibility and brings us closer to a PC like experience where you can easily upgrade hardware without upgrading the the whole machine.
Developers are already invited to sign up for their devices and to start building modules, which will probably help decide when the phone will launch in 2017. It is safe to assume Google hopes developers will jump in and create content and hardware for this new phone to be ready for an appealing consumer launch.
It is worth noting that rumors were stating Google was not going to release the device after all but seeing as they are now moving the team from the ATAP research lab to its proper unit inside Google, under new hardware chief Rick Osterloh, is a sign they are committed to the project this time.
The future seems pretty clearly pointing in the direct of modules with LG and Google pushing it and Motorola also rumored to enter the game with swappable back plates. It is an exciting time for he smartphone enthusiast. Do you think modular phones with work and be useful or are they just a gimmick? Let us know in the comment below.