Project Ara updates progress with new video

Phonebloks started as a vision to create a phone that people would want to keep for longer than a year. But, in order to make this a reality, the device would always have to be current. In order to achieve this, the design would be modular, meaning it could be upgraded using interchangeable pieces. This design would make the upgrade process simple, easy, and realistic.

In September 2013, Phonebloks introduced their idea to the world. The two minute and forty-seven second video showed a device that looked nothing like what was currently on the market. Phonebloks sparked interest and got the attention of consumers and various companies. As it turned out, Motorola Mobility, a then subsidiary of Google, had been working on its own modular device project for over a year, called Project Ara. In visiting Motorola, Phonebloks found that they had common goals and decided that partnering with the company would create the best result.

Although Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, Google retained the Advanced Technologies And Projects team responsible for Project Ara. A few months have passed and we finally get a glimpse of what the team has been working on. While the project is far from complete, the team has some interesting features, designs, and ideas that could make its way into the final release of the modular handset.

One of the more interesting and clever features is the use of electro-permanent magnets to keep the interchangeable modules in place. We also get a glimpse of the three possible sizes and configurations of the device. Lastly, rather than cover the modules with a case, Google is utilizing the modules as an opportunity to customize the handset with different colors, textures, and designs.

Google will have its first public conference about Project Ara at the Ara Developer Conference being held on April 15 - 16th, 2014. 

Source: Slash Gear via PhonebloksImages via Phonebloks and Motorola 

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15 Comments

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I lol at people who think this won't be a big thing one day. They're probably the same sort who didn't see little computers in our pocket ever.

I guess that's why they don't hold jobs at companies that innovate.

I hope this takes off, and it's affordable. To be able to customize the parts your want, would be awesome.

For me, high end camera, max capacity battery, middle to upper middle range cpg / gpu (I don't use a lot of resource intensive apps on my phone) would be my preferred build.

Shadowzz said,
sounds like you want a 1020. or the probably later this year announced 1030.

I'm on Sprint, otherwise I would consider switching to Nokia. I have a 520 pay as you go w/o activating the cell services ($40 Amazon xmas deal) I like how fluid Windows Phone 8 runs and the OS / Gui design, apps section is still not to my liking, however, I don't use many non-essentials apps on my Galaxy Nexus (which I do love). Tablet would be a different story.

Edited by Jason Stillion, Apr 5 2014, 1:43pm :

If this ever gets off the ground and goes into production they should have an exchange or buyback scheme for parts/blocks or else we'll just end up with more e-waste.

if this works out i would like to have a phone with simple camera, big speaker and extra battery unit if possible

Phonebloks started as a vision to create a phone that people would want to keep for longer than a year.

That would be the Lumia 920 for me :p probably not even going to give it up after my 2-yr contract is up this fall. Still an excellent phone and that'll keep the bill cheaper.

Anyway, it'll definitely be interesting to see what comes of this.