Few thoughts about Project Ara

Modular smartphone from Google, which originated in the bowels of Motorola, but then carefully left the search giant under its own wing, begins to take shape. Already the first conference for developers and Ara-released MDK, as you can read on our website here . According to rumors, the first samples of devices may already be relatively soon go on sale at very attractive prices, so I wanted to share with you some thoughts about the development of this project.


Immediately say, that in the future I will not go into the technical complexity of implementation ideas, suggesting that Google engineers in conjunction with third-party developers will master what they put on their shoulders.

Project Ara

I would pogovrit that is good and bad I see the concept as such, without looking at the potential compatibility issues modules, development of a universal bus that it is equally suited for both the battery and the camera module, and other issues , which surely are in nightmares nouveau Ara-developers.


So there you go. In their palaces mind I thought the owner introduced himself newcomer modular smartphone from Google. Let’s start with the good, ie with the advantages that I appear in comparison with owning ordinary “solid” smartphone.

Set “week has”

Perhaps the coolest feature of the opportunity to replace smartofna is adaptable to the needs of each particular day. For example, if I want to go out and lyapograf summer day pofotgrafirovat, I natseplyu hefty camera module on mnogomegapikseley with optical stabilization, and all the works. And if I have to work a full day, phone calls, negotiations, instead of the camera module I’m stuck on an extra battery to just hang on to the end of an intense day. Thus, the smartphone will be able to adapt to their current role if a good actor for the new movie.

Options for configuration modules can come up with a great variety. Yes, they still have to buy if you want to have a variation, but it will be cheaper differently than have, say, Note 3 and Droid Maxx (for problems in the example above).


Update – that point, which in the context of Project Ara not say just lazy. Frankly, it is quite a little hard to believe me, despite the fact that this potential updates are hardly a major asset ideas modular smartphone. The fact is that in order for me to want to spend money on new hardware, it must make a new level of usability, otherwise in this sense is not so much.

And if we are talking about the period of 5-6 years (according to the developers Project Ara), then believe that hardware manufacturers can all look back on this time backward compatibility to new modules fit the old cell, I quite difficult. However, we agreed not to talk about the technical problems of implementation.

Third-party developers

We live in a time when many bright ideas can come to life through kraudfandinga and other amenities of the modern world, the same companies like Google or Facebook, which can buy a small startup for an impressive money.

Project Ara

However, even now many of the ideas, even very steep, may face barriers to entry in osobennoti when it comes to filling hardvernye smartphone. For now, making up a steep component developer should find a ready or a smartphone manufacturer who agreed to adapt a new feature, or to collect their own, and somehow try to sell it. Project Ara can significantly reduce the data barriers, allowing developers to produce only their own modules without having to release the whole smartphone. I think this could be a good impetus to many interesting ideas for smartphones saw the light.


With all the obvious and not so pros, I believe that Project Ara has a number of drawbacks. And here are the ones that I think are essential.


As you know, Google will supply several sizes endoskeleton – molds into which to cram modules. And it is this part at the moment it seems to me the greatest Fail. The fact that the modules will be “enter” in the special section! Skeleton provided beforehand! and fasten them on magnets (mechanics of which, incidentally, is quite interesting, but now is not it).

Project Ara

Take, for example, the medium variant of the skeleton. It is available to me 2 module 2 * 2 * 2 4 module 1 and module 2 1 * 1. The problem is that I do not want to play in the sea battle, I want to play Teteris! I honestly do not understand why not get rid of the track and not allow me to assemble modules as you want me, not the way it is provided Google. In this case, I could pave the entire surface of the six rams 3 * 1 or fit battery, size 3 * 4 for a long trip with no prospect outlet. And under the current structure all this is not possible and I honestly do not understand why it is done.

I do not want to play in the sea battle, I want to play Teteris!

I’m sure the question of fixing the modules could be solved without the help of the guides. In the end, each cell 1 * 1 to make a small indentation with latches (like cubes advanced LEGO, for example need not go far). And I came up, sitting on a chair and not being in the lab on Google, as they have something on it and will maybe more resources and time to reflect on the issue. Would desire.

In general, the guides on the “skeleton” – an obvious evil, limiting both developers and users.

Carthage Guide ribs must be destroyed!

3D printing

Google says a lot about the use of 3D-printing technology in the development of modules for Project Ara. In this regard, I have an idea that the concept of a modular smartphone slightly ahead of its time. For quite a long time I’m waiting for the time when the 3D-printer if not every home, even though direct access. Then download torrents fly on the relevant sites can be anything, ranging from cases for phones, ending replicas of their creations maynkrafte and then printing them for just pennies.

3D-printing could greatly contribute to the spread of the modules will relieve capacity plants, moving them to the lucky owners of private territory sootvtetsvuyuschih printers.

Therefore, if the Project Ara will is focused on a model of the spread, then it seems to me, it is worth to wait until the dumb as a niche private acquire 3D-print form and is repelled from it. Left to wait a bit.

Design compromises

Anyway, to create modular smartphone will have to make certain concessions. In the first place, they will be in the size of the device, which is not even trying to deny the people working directly with Project Ara. I do not know about you, but I would have been much nicer for conditional 6 years 3 times to change the device, but every time I have to be a monolith and well assembled smartphone than all six years I will walk with a thick big gadget, while changing in It spares. For the convenience to pay. And while I’m not very convinced that the positive effects of “modularity” are this convenience.


To interest a lot of developers who will have to create an ecosystem around the modules Project Ara, to convince of the fact that they can get from a decent profit. And it needs to convince them that the sale of “skeletons» Ara will be high. And it needs to ordinary people, most of whom now zazombirovana to purchase an iPhone or Samsung, realized that Project Ara – that’s what it is they need. And yet experience shows that opinions of the masses is nothing better than a multi-billion dollar advertising budget.

Will Google on such financial risk investing money in a potentially (but only potentially) lucrative idea – the big question, the answer to which can only give gentlemen Page, Brin and others of that ilk.

Epilogue and conclusions

The bottom line is, I do not particularly believe in Project Ara at this stage of its development. I think that in the next year or two it will be something similar to what is now a Google Glass – gadget for geeks that the general public is not really understands. At the same time as Google Glass, Project Ara has a fairly high potential, both technical and commercial.

Let us look at what the end epic with all conferences, development of modules of interest and potential sales start in the foreseeable future at attractive prices. So far, everything is pretty inetersno to watch from the sidelines, but no more.

Write in the comments what you think about Project Ara, will be interesting to hear your opinion. Do not forget to encourage article zhmakaniem social networks on a button below it, if you were interested to read it, maybe your friends with whom you share it, share your feelings.

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