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Update on Google's Project Ara

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  • Update on Google's Project Ara

    Hello all,

    I'm a student at Purdue University, and I recertly heard Google's Paul Eremenko talk about Project Ara. The link below is an article that Purdue posted, so you know he actually came to Purdue, and I'm not making this up:

    Google's Paul Eremenko visited Purdue University yesterday to talk about the current status of Project Ara, which is Google attempt to make a modular smart phone. The talk was breath taking, and it only made me excited for the release of this new android based smart phone!
    If you have not yet heard of Google's Project Ara here is a brief overview. Project Ara is an ambitious attempt to make lego-like building blocks, with which one can make an android phone. These lego-blocks (more formally called modules) will come in 3 different sizes, a 1 by 1, a 1 by 2, and a 2 by 2. The modules each have an futuristic electromagnet, which keeps the phone from falling apart. The bizarre thing is that these electromagnets do not consume power in their on or off states, and you can at any time swap one module for another one!
    The point of Project Ara is to allow numerous people to easily design hardware, just as easily as one can design an android app. This would shorten the time it takes to bring a new phone to market. Plus it is super cool!
    We can expect Google to sell a small number of Ara phones sometime in 2015, after Google designs 2 more prototypes. Google current has made three sizes, and they expect to bring two of those sizes to market. The sizes are mini, medium and jumbo. The picture in this link ( shows a medium sized prototype, which is roughly the same size as your average American-sized smart phone. The mini is 2/3 as wide as the medium, and the jumbo is 1/3 wider than the medium.
    Since the phone comes is modular and not monolithic, there are some downsides that come out at about 25% all across the board. The phone might be 25% heavier, it will probably 25% slower, and it also might have a 25% shorter battery life, but Google claims since phones are already super fast, one won't really care about these downsides. On the plus side, one could potentially have an infinite number of ways to combine different modules to build a unique phone. This makes it really easy and relatively cheap to upgrade your CPU or wifi module, fix your screen, or share your modules with a friend.
    Conclusion: Project Ara is going to be awesome.