You begin with an endoskeleton, or 'Endo' as Google are affectionately calling it, which forms the basis of your phone and then add 'modules' which alter or add to the phone's functionality. Think of the ARA a little like a Lego phone, different bits snap in and out to make the phone whatever you want it to be.
Going on holiday? Get a great camera just by adding a new module. Into gaming? Add a faster processor while playing. Make music the centre of your world with super speakers or use medical sensors to keep a check on your health.
And the best part is you don't have to sacrifice one thing for another. Just a few clicks and swops and your super powerful gamer phone can transform into a lightweight, speedy phone perfect for the office. Or change the size by using different endos – have a tiny phone on Saturday night in your pocket or clutch bag and then make the same phone into a phablet for work on Monday morning!
The modules can also be shared by anyone else with an ARA phone – no need to upgrade every couple of years, upgrade constantly with modules that deliver what you need, when you need it.
This concept for phones, if it catches on (and let's face it, with Google behind it, it probably will catch on!) would be great news for electronic component companies. Rather than just needing a few components to make up the phone, every module will be made up of them. With the aim being that people own more modules than can be used at once, more electronic components will be needed than on a standard smartphone. More components is always a good thing for our industry!
(Google are still working on the prototype with a conference scheduled for January 14th 2015 where we should find out even more about the modular phone.)
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