Get ready for some news about Project Ara, Google’s modular Android phone concept that’s slowly coming to life behind the scenes. Ever since we first saw the Phonebloks concept from Dave Hakkens, we’ve been dead keen on getting our own modular phones. It makes upgrading your camera/CPU/storage as easy as popping out the old unit and inserting a new one, and fixing a broken display just as easy.
The fantastic news for us phone geeks was that Motorola had been working on project Ara, its own modular smartphone platform, and the then Google-owned company had taken Dave in to help them by consulting on the project. Of course when Motorola was sold to Lenovo Google decided that it wanted to keep Project Ara for itself rather than letting it go with the sale.
Well Dave is back, and in the video below you’ll see just how far the project has come since its early concept days. Google has made no secret of the fact that Ara uses electropermanent magnets to hold each module in place. The magnets start off with very little force allowing you to slide modules in and out of place with a satisfying click as they become connected, but the second a current is run through the magnet they increase their hold exponentially, effectively locking all modules in place.
If you keep a keen eye out you’ll see three different-sized modular phones in the presentation: a ‘mini’ 2 x 5 square configuration, a ‘medium’ 3 x 6 one and a ‘large’ 5 x 7 configuration which will appeal to those of us who want more space to fit all modules at once.
There is no date for the release of Google’s modular phone just yet, but we’re hoping that it comes sooner rather than later.