There was much anticipation leading up to Google’s official unveiling of Project Ara. Project Ara was Google’s take on modular design and has been in the works for a couple of years now, and all that work has come to a screeching halt. It has been reported that Google suspended the project due to an attempt to “streamline the company’s hardware efforts.”
For the last couple of days all we had to go on was the initial report from Reuters and then Google confirmed the end of Project Ara itself. Although the company has not thrown Ara out the window just yet, the project is definitely shelved until further notice.
It also seems that Google “may work with partners to bring Project Ara’s technology to market, potentially through licensing agreements.” Although Ara is finished for now, the device definitely pushed the envelope of development as we have since seen devices such as the LG G5 and Moto Z lineup enter the market with modular designs.
Here’s to hoping that Project Ara lives on, but it probably won’t be from Google. In fact, the founder of Project Ara, Dan Makoski, is working at a company called Nexpaq which is looking to help current devices gain modular capabilities. Nexpaq is currently developing a modular phone case, although it’s not known which devices will be compatible and when it will come to market.
Modularity seems to be the next big thing in smartphone design and development and the pathway was paved by Project Ara, and for that, we thank the team at Google ATAP and those who have worked on the device.