By far and away the most exciting thing happening in the world of smartphones at the moment, in our humble opinion at least, is the modular smartphone being built at Google called Project Ara. It allows any module on the phone to be swapped out in seconds so that components can be replaced on the fly. Imagine replacing your camera module with an extra battery module while you’re driving so that using the GPS doesn’t use as much juice on the way to your destination; well, soon that’s what you will be able to do.
The latest piece of news out of the Ara camp is the first sighting of the new Ara Configurator app, which is how Ara buyers start the configuration process. The app allows you to design the back of your phone – the exoskeleton that connects the modules together – which can be customised however you like. It even lets you specify any pictures you’d like to decorate each module with.
Using a pinching gesture you can then move one layer down to select the functionality of each individual module and add or remove the ones you want in your final creation.
The app will also have a store listing the full catalog of parts available which can be added to your “stash” for future reference.Once you’re ready to order your phone a screen will show you what components you’ve ordered as well as useful stats on the phone, like estimated battery life, before you choose to buy it.
The first location to receive some Ara goodness will be the small island nation of Puerto Rico, although there is no exact timing on when the pilot programme is set to take place. For now we’ll just sit around waiting for our turn to get hold of the large ‘exo’
Project Ara, Via – The Verge]