Unlocking the potential of an open hardware ecosystem – Google Project Ara
Google did a revolution in the smartphone software ecosystem by launching Android a while back which enabled small software developers to create some great software products that help us today. It is with this open mentality that Google is trying to do the very same in the smartphone hardware ecosystem.
Project Ara: A new effort to let people create phones with little building blocks of hardware? It’s about Google trying to connect 6 billion people to the internet — and Google’s services.
Want to build your own phone with modular blocks of functionality? That may not sound appealing until you think of the possibilities. You can upgrade your phone’s screen from 720p to 1080p, for example, instead of buying a whole new phone. Looking to add a better camera to your handset? Swap out an image sensor module for a better one. The idea is a sound one, but it comes down to execution. Enter Google’s Project Ara, an open hardware platform to bring this idea to the masses.
Motorola has been working on Project Ara for a year and is ready to start getting feedback from what the company calls “Ara Scouts”: You can sign up here if interested. Phonebloks is another, more recent, idea that’s even closer to what Motorola is doing. Take a peek at the idea:
Motorola is partnering with the Phonebloks community, which is a smart idea: Why reinvent the wheel when you can work together on a similar effort with shared goals. It’s exactly this type of effort that begins to answer the question, “Why did Google spend $12.5 billion to purchase Motorola?”
Google has already made great headway from the first billion smartphone users. Now it wants to connect and engage with the remaining 6 billion. Consider Project Ara another way for Google to do just that. Will the project be successful? Only time will tell, but since it’s another way for Google to get people connected to the internet — and therefore to Google apps and services — this is one modular phone project that won’t easily be allowed to fail.