Google’s Project Ara is an attempt to bring the same versatility and customization in desktop computers to mobile devices.
The phone is made of modular blocks which can be swapped out, and each piece can be developed by third party manufacturers to produce a wide variety of different effects. An older demo had a lot of crashes as the system debuted itself, but this week gave a better glimpse.
The Phonebloks team has released a video of the Ara prototype in working form. Although the performance is a bit slow and clunky, it’s a much bigger boost in productivity that its I/O conference debut.
In the video, there is a more detailed display of the modular components on the phone. With a glimpse at how the different components come together, there is also a detailed block on the first prototype, called Spiral 1.
The Spiral 1 block seems to be a dedicated block for keeping up the device’s modular abilities. The second prototype, Spiral 2, has a lot more space available for customization.
There’s a lot of excitement about what this can mean for mobile devices. Developers want a development machine in their hands, while gamers might get rid of a few useless items in order to add more graphics processing for mobile games. This could end up giving a major boost to trend of mobile gaming on Android FreedomPop devices and the recently released iPad Air 2.
Can it be made bigger for those who want power and don’t care about small sizes? More answers should come from the Project Ara developer conference on January 14th, 2015.