Project Ara is a project started by Google, and it has been said that it will revolutionize the smartphone industry like never before. It is still in development, and it is planned to be released sometime in 2016 for the developer edition. This project grows from the concept of modular smartphone, a kind of smartphone that is composed of tiles, or modules, that you can replace at will. Each module will carry a functionality for the smartphone. These modules connect with the main framework of the smartphone to create a fully working smartphone.
If Project Ara is becoming a successful project, it will revolutionize the way companies sell their smartphone products. Companies will begin to sell smartphone parts as modules for the Project Ara smartphone. They might still sell the full smartphone models, but the customers may gradually switch into buying modules for their smartphone, rather than replacing their smartphone each year.
The Positive Impacts that Project Ara Can Create
Ultimately, Project Ara will benefit the customers, since they will no longer need to buy an expensive new smartphone just to upgrade a specific part of their phone, such as battery capacity, camera resolution, sound quality, and so on. Customers can simply buy a replacement module to replace the existing module. For instance, if the customers want to upgrade their camera resolution, they just need to replace their camera module, rather than buying another smartphone with a higher camera resolution.
In other words, the customers can still retain their modular phone for as long as necessary, since they only need to replace one or several modules at a time when they need to upgrade their phone. So, the phone is built to last longer than the regular smartphones, which usually last for 1-2 years. With the concept of the open marketplace, developers and companies can contribute to the growing of Project Ara to further its innovations.
The Project Ara smartphone is also great for personalization and customization. Customers can customize their phone the way they want it to look and perform.
The Reality of Project Ara So Far
What is first imagined as a big revolution in the smartphone industry has become dumbed down into something that is trivial and not too revolutionary anymore, at least for now. Recently, Google has said regarding Project Ara that they will not allow the users to replace the CPU and other core components, since these are installed in the main frame. Thus, it means that the modular phone can actually become old and in need of entire replacement sooner or later. It makes the modules that are available for the phone to act like just some trivial add-ons that the customers can buy for a higher price.
Will Project Ara really revolutionize the smartphone industry? The answer depends on how it is implemented. If it is implemented just like the original idea of a long-lasting modular phone, then it can really revolutionize the smartphone industry in the future. But, if it is not, if the customers cannot replace every part that needs to be replaced, then the modular phone will end up not becoming too different from any regular phone. If this is what Google will decide, Project Ara might just become another fun project that people will not take very seriously.