We have got a good news for all the techno-geeks out there. Paul Eremenko, the project leader of Project Ara, announced at the first Project Ara developer conference, held recently, that Google’s modular smartphone will be released by January 2015 with a price range starting from round US$50. Personal customization would be encouraged by the dab grey color that the gadget will be available in.
Project Ara is in-fact a sub-project of Google’s ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects). Regina Dugan, former DARPA director, heads this division. After ending its brief venture into the field of hardware production by selling off its cell phone manufacturing business with Lenovo this year and the purchase of Motorola, going back in 2011, ATAP is the only division that was held on to by Google.
The Project Ara aims to provide an open structural platform to which you can add a variety of modules including keypad, display, battery etc, like Dutch designer, Dave Hakken’s Phonebloks concept.
At the recent conference, Eremenko’s announced release date of January 2015 will post a number of obstacles in the way that need to be covered if they really want to follow their timeline. And no, the obstacles are not just hardware related.
Drivers will need to be developed to support the modular components since the Android OS does not exactly work with that. December is the time Eremenko expects these drivers to be ready, which he also announced at the conference. So that leaves him only a month before the hardware is made available to the public.
Eremenko designed Ara is to have a long lasting metallic chassis that will use electro-permanent magnets to hold the delicate components in place. Unified Protocol (UniPro) standard, which is used for interconnection of ICs in cellphones will be used for inter-component communication in Ara.
The $50 price is not too much considering that it will include the Ara classic chassis, low-end application processor, a battery module besides the Wi-Fi module and Android OS, according to Phandroid. The device is to come in three different that include mini, regular and the phablet. Will you buy one? Let us know in the comments section