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Meet the team behind Google’s Project Ara

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Forget Google Glass (sorry, Tom) and self-driving cars: Project Ara may be Google’s most exciting future product. One of two projects under development in the former Motorola ATAP group, Project Ara promises the globe a modular and upgradable smartphone at a base price of $50.

Google has been slowly peeling back the curtain on Project Ara as it ramps up towards the first Ara Developers Conference later this month. The company recently gave an extended technology demo of Project Ara at the LAUNCH Conference in San Francisco. Yesterday, in partnership with Phonebloks, Google shed light on the team behind the project.

The video provides a neat look at not only the personalities behind the project, but also the challenges they’re thinking about solving to make a phone for six billion people. The video also underlines that Project Ara is currently nestled between dream and reality – most of the live functionality demo’d is on breadboards and a series of exposed wires. It does, however, make us even more excited about what Google will reveal in two weeks.

  • Bri Bru

    Curious how long it’ll take for us to get our hands on one

    • Moosen

      From the demo video released about a month ago they said they were aiming for ‘within the year.’ A very optimistic goal but encouraging in their aggressiveness.

    • Bri Bru

      I just love the way Google do things. I’d be very happy to see a product in the market by the end of this year. But my concern is that this won’t probably be available in Canada right away..

  • K Diddle

    Hoping this actually comes to fruition…. Really really hoping…

  • Mike

    What great idea!

  • milagroful

    I feel like the phone will be bulkier with being able to swap out parts. How bout just take any of the top phones today and put some new battery tech in it so we can get 2-3 days worth. Thats the only thing really left to do.

    • Rio

      There is no ‘new’ significant breakthrough in battery technology. Unless you want a phone double-triple the size of current phones.

    • nekkidtruth

      No thanks. I’ll take a little extra bulk to be able to swap out components. The bulk you’re referring to is negligible at best. It’s not like the phone is going to go from a quarter of an inch to 3 inches. *rolls eyes*

    • Rio

      negligible? All phones these days are soooo incredibly packed, it is amazing.

      With something like this, each component is going to have its own connector to interface with the other. That right there is a huge footprint added to the overall size.

      everyone says they are ok to carry a phone that is an inch or so bigger to get better battery life. Why not carry a mini cable instead? or a square inch external battery in your bag?

    • Rio

      If this does come to life, it will likely be for a niche market.

    • nekkidtruth

      Yes negligible. A quick look at the prototype shows that the bulk you’re worried about is practically non-existent and that’s the prototype. Imagine the device that hits the sales floor. At most, it’s about as thick as 2 thin phones glued together. We’re not talking about the cell phone used by Zack Morris here.

    • Anthony

      Have you seen how big of a battery can actually fit in that prototype? The battery is the BIGGEST component of your smartphone by % of total volume, WAY bigger than the PCB or anything else… Ara is ALL PCB. In order for Ara to have an equivalent battery it’s going to be a lot thicker than the prototype.

      I’ll believe this is possible when they actually make it. So far all indications point to “unpractical”

  • Thorsten Garbe

    Maybe that’s why there will be no nexus phone after the nexus 6

  • ToniCipriani

    Physical keyboard module and I’ll consider one.

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