Google Ara, ambitious project about modular hardware phone has reportedly being cancelled by Google. When California tech major began its hardware development, Ara was one of the most innovative projects of all time.
Thank you Dave Hakkens: Phonebloks a.k.a Ara
Before being termed as Ara, this concept was Dave Hakkens‘ idea and was known as Phonebloks. It came to existence in 2013, and was focused on making electronic devices last for longer periods and avoid them being outdated. All the major hardware configurations defining a phone would be in terms of blocks (as evident from Phonebloks) or modules. The user would have independence to choose from the available modules. He can shuffle up the hardware in almost all terms varying from camera, display, memory, sound and even RAM!!
The idea was very lucrative and was taken over by Google’s Motorola division (Motorola is now owned by Lenovo). Hence, it is Dave Hakkens Phonebloks which is now known as Google Ara.
Google added a wonderful idea of keeping the prices of the phone as low as $100, so that anyone and everyone can afford. It was supposed to be launched in various sizes and showcased almost everything handy and beyond scope of normal phones. Features like dedicated gaming controller, laser pointer etc., could anytime be plugged into the phone and plugged out of the phone.
The developer version was supposed to be rolled out this December, and the user version was expected to arrive next year. It is highly unfortunate that Google has put an abrupt stop to this project. Its arrival would have led to dedicated hardware divisions which just work on one feature (screen, RAM or controller).
At the time of its announcement, the project was criticized for its feasibility and several issues in development, production and compatibility were cited. However, with support from users and developers all over and Google’s enthusiasm, Ara had gotten a green light.
It is now, in 2016, that Google has pull the cord on this highly anticipated project. Undoubtedly, it would have been a game changer for all manufacturers.
What is Google Going to do Next?
Google wouldn’t let Ara go unfinished, and might license this product to other manufacturers. Further, it can also make it an open hardware project, which would in turn attract a lot more developers and learners. One can also expect Google limiting its release to the developer version only and then just supporting the community on bringing their own ideas to life.
Official word is yet to come out, and as of now there are no updates on its website as well as Twitter channel. A reaction from Dave Hakkens is also awaited.
Let’s have a look at some videos of this modular smartphone that shook the industry.