Google has released a video showing off the numerous possibilities of Project Ara, a concept smartphone with a modular design that allows users to swap out different components in order to cater it to the individual.
The clip, titled ‘Part of it’, alludes to the modular design of the phone, which is essentially made up of small parts you can slide on and off yourself which fit on to a main “endoskeleton”.
Say you want a camera piece with a higher megapixel, the idea is that you’ll be able to purchase the attachment and slide it right on to your phone. Or, if perhaps you don’t use your camera often, you can replace that piece with something else you might use more.
The clip shows other possibilities – a night vision component, a battery which can be easily swapped out with a ready-charged one, speaker systems and one of my favourites (and a solution to a common problem) – the ability to slide off your smashed screen and easily slide on a new one yourself.
It gets better, because the components can be swapped out and replaced if they eventually die, the devices are expected to last longer, which will hopefully reduce electronic waste, an initiative first set by Dave Hakkens and his organisation Phonebloks.
The concept is pretty unbelievable and is expected to turn the whole smartphone market on its head when it’s eventually released to the public. Though no official release date has been set, Project Ara will begin pilot testing in Puerto Rico this year.