Building the LEGO of Smartphones
Project Ara is the codename for an
initiative by Google that aims to
develop a free, open hardware
platform for creating
highly modular smartphones.
Ara is about opening hardware in the same way Android has
opened software – put it in the hands of the many as opposed
to the grip of a few.
The goals is to democratize the hardware ecosystem, break it wide open, basically
disintermediate the OEMs.
Google's Advanced Technology and Projects
(ATAP) group is in charge of Project Ara.
The head of Project Ara, Paul Eremenko
Ara phones are built using
modules inserted into metal
endoskeletal frames known as
“Endos". It acts as the switch to
the on-device network linking all
the modules together.
Modules can be anything
like a display, processor,
keyboard, battery, camera,
Modules can be built by
any developer using the
open source MDK
(Module Developers Kit)
which is already
Ara phones will use
Electropermanent magnets to
hold all the modules in place.
The modules will use Capacitive
Interconnect pads instead of
pins as a communication
A new communication standard called UniPro will be utilized by modules which provides
10 gigabits of throughput to most modules from the on-device network with a couple-
Project Ara is working with 3D Systems to develop a new kind of 3D
printer that's capable of mass producing custom shells (the plastic
pieces on the back of each module).
Google will host the store that sells the modules and also will sell the plastic, 3D-printed
Advantages of Ara phones:
• Phones is very cheap.
• You only buy the features that you want.
• Your phone could last indefinitely.
• Repairs are easier and cheaper.
• You could have two versions of your phone.
Disadvantages of Ara phones:
• It will be bigger and heavier
than a standard phone.
• The connectors are bound to
• Certain combinations won’t
• It won’t be optimized.
• How many combinations can
there really be?
The first model of the
modular phone “Grey Phone”
is scheduled to be released in
The first model will cost around $50.
Want to know more then just Google it.