One thing that always frustrates me about smartphones and tablets is the general inability for them to be fixed. Take Apple for example, if any part of an iPhone or iPad breaks and you take it to them to be repaired they will sell you a refurbished model instead of repairing it. For me, I do not want my device replaced, I want the part to be replaced or fixed. I realise that they take the old phone and use its parts but it still does not feel right to me. Many times I have tried to get an Android phone repaired and have been overcharged, told that they do not fix the part or do not have the part? And that is when I am able to find an official repairer.
Because of this frustration I am getting very excited about ‘Project Ara’. ‘Project Ara’ which is a modular smart phone that users can build themselves or easily replace components that have failed or that you are not happy with (this is amazing). I believe that the operating system they will be running with will be Android.
Project Ara was originally owned by Motorola but is now being run by Google (after selling Motorola for $2.91 billion to Lenovo). Google elected to keep the Advanced Research and Projects from Motorola post sale. This is a great sign in regards to the project’s longevity and because of this you know that Google is taking this project seriously.
The Project Ara modular smartphone will contain an endoskeleton ‘endo’ which the modules will connect to. Modules that are being considered for this project are the following:
I have spent a lot of time fixing broken phones for myself and friends, which has not been the easiest thing to do, especially when trying to find OEM parts. Project Ara is going to solve all of my problems in this regard. It will be easy to find OEM parts and also simple to install/replace them.
In order to find out how users are operating their smartphones and what they want out of them, the ‘Project Ara’ team are performing a lot of user research via www.dscout.com. I am a member and I think you should be too if you have any interest in smartphones.
What components would you like to be able to change in a smartphone?