Another look at Project Ara, the team behind it, and its speedy development process [VIDEO]


Project Ara Verge Video

It’s probably one of the most interesting projects in mobile at the moment and one that gives us goosebumps every time we see its name come across our feed: Project Ara. A modular smartphone project, Ara sets to create a smartphone that essentially allows consumers to build (and upgrade) their own custom smartphones, similar to what we saw in the PC industry with desktop towers. Just smaller. Much smaller.

With the Project Ara Developer Conference kicking off today (you can watch it live here), the folks at The Verge were able to catch up with Paul Eremenko, the man currently heading the project.  The video, uploaded to YouTube earlier a few hours ago, dives into the folks behind Project Ara — Google’s Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) group — who are on a fast track to creating a smartphone for the everyday-man.

Google’s ATAP team is small and “lean,” composed of engineers who originally worked at DARPA and have set an aggressive time schedule to launch a real, fully functional consumer-ready product early next year. Eremenko says that their self-imposed time pressure yields higher quality innovation with little risk aversion. ATAP’s goal is to create something more than a prototype, and is the reason we’re seeing Project Ara come to fruition in such a short amount of time (2 years). You owe it to yourself to watch the video and learn more about Project Ara.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Love it, hopes this makes it all the way to production and sales.
    Only thing cooler is Graphene, which will make cellphones even thinner, flexible, durable and awesomer.

  2. Active Display on Project Ara?!

    1. Project Ara is special development division in Motorola Mobility (Google is keeping it after selling Moto to Lenovo, so nothing to worry about)

  3. If they pull this off and make it functional I’m 100% in!!

  4. This will really be so awesome when it happens. We can easily swap a module to be compatible anywhere in the world, put a better camera set on when necessary, upgrade your graphics when newer games come out, or just buy a new shell with a fancier screen if you need to. This could be a geek’s dream phone, and the physical size won’t be terrible because Samsung taught us that something sized like the Note will sell. I’m pretty excited for where this will go.

  5. Thicker device doesn’t bug me any I prefer thicker devices to thin ones anyways.

  6. Kinda cool. Snapdragon processor, Samsung Super-LCD display, Sony camera, Bose speakers… This is so possible if I’m following this correctly. Exciting!

    1. Yup mix and match parts from different companies is possible

    2. Just think of all the competition it could help stir up!

  7. why is dude talking like a hipster?

  8. ah yes…the future.

    this is a great idea. can it be executed well here? we’ll see, but this is an idea that needs to be pursued and realized by someone if not these guys.

  9. I’m mainly curious how the magnets hold up on the drop test. Will all the modules stay in place?

    1. I’m not sure it will matter, if all the individual modules are strong, they should be fine even if they pop out. Not to mention that modules flying off uses energy that would otherwise be transfered to internal components….that removable battery that explodes out of your nokia helped it survive, it didnt just survice in spite of that. Waterproofing will be another story, I’m not sure how good it’ll be if people are snapping the shells on and off constantly to change them. Id rather not be able to customize colors, and instead get better waterproofing/strength

  10. Where I really see the value is when it comes to switching carriers. Instead of a whole new phone, just swap out the module with the radios.

  11. Selling and trading parts, faster processor when needed and lower when at work.

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