Why choose a phone for its camera, when you could choose a camera for your phone? This is one of the major ideas behind Project Ara, the modular phone. Google has put together a team of world wide collaborators in an effort to produce the first truly customizable phone.
The modular phone allows a range of new options and new challenges, allowing almost infinite customizability, being able to choose your battery or your screen. Developers have been able to capture the most advanced capabilities of a standard smart phone, only loosing about 25% of performance and battery life for the modular capabilities.
The modular capability of the phone does come with other challenges, such as the possible odd combination of modules. A photo enthusiast for instance may want a high end camera for the phone, with that the would also want better graphic power on the phone itself. Those two modules may end up taking the room for the higher quality screen, leaving the phone nearly useless.
The original plan for Project Ara had the phone available to the public some time in last August, but the team ran into a large issue with the modules, they had hit the largest challenge of the modular phone; to be able to connect modules flawlessly. In a standard smart phone, every component can be easily connected through small wires going throughout the interior, but in a modular phone, there is no interior, there is only space for the small modules in a metal skeleton, no wire room whatsoever.
Luckily, the project is back on track, aiming for August 2017 to release the full product to consumers. By using magnets, they created a wireless system that keeps it small but very effective. Using two small metal plates, on the ends of modules, held together by magnets, the modules stay in contact nearly ninety-nine percent of the time, only separating in high stress situations, such as being dropped.
The next generation of cellphones is on its way, with amazing individuality to a mass consumer product. The custom phone allows for an expression beyond just a background or how you organize your apps, it can meet your needs for photography or maybe sketching, Project Ara can do it all. Project Ara, custom made for 7 billion people.