Modular Smartphone Google Ara

We live in an amazing time. Over the past decade there have been many interesting things: touchscreen phones have replaced keypads, tablets replace the laptop and using a smartphone is now possible to solve most of the tasks that used to be beyond the power of even a home computer.

Recently it became known that Google has entered the second stage of bringing to mind an ambitious project Ara. Project Ara was announced in October 2013 and is an attempt to create a smartphone, which consists, like the constructor of the individual functional modules, which, if necessary, can be changed for new ones.

The main features of Google Ara

As a high-tech designer smartphone Google Ara allow the owner to build the necessary hardware configuration, where all modules - CPU, display, wireless communications, camera, flash memory, speaker, battery, and others - are placed on the fastening them together by a magnet board.

At this smartphone has a huge advantage over the conventional: it is possible not only to easily replace the failed element (for example, split the screen), but also to collect smartphone suitable for certain tasks. For example, if a user wants to get quality photos - powerful camera module is installed, if the task is to increase the battery life - connects high-capacity battery, if you want to quickly enter text - instead of a large screen display is set smaller and button QWERTY-keyboard.

Google has a very ambitious plans for the project. If the company will succeed, Project Ara will develop even faster than developed operating system Android, only "hardware" level. The main objectives of Google in the near future will be: the formation of a vast ecosystem of third-party equipment, increasing the degree of innovation and the acceleration of technological progress.

Modular Smartphone Google Ara

At the next developer conference dedicated to the project, Google demonstrated the current engineering model Ara - Spiral 2, intended for developers and dating back to the second major step. It supports 3G-cellular networks and develop provisions for the site of the market Ara Marketplace, where each user can find and purchase additional modules.

Spiral 2 can not be attributed to the high-end smartphones, but this problem now and not standing. Google had hoped to complete all the work at the beginning of this year and in January to launch the first commercial Ara-communicator, but the project was too complex to implement, and to its realization will require a lot of time.

Front based smartphone is inserted screen module with a resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels coming from the power button and adjust the volume, as well as radio-frequency receiver module integrated with proximity sensors and light, and with a 3.5mm audio jack. On the reverse side of the structure there are eight slots that connect other units: 5-megapixel camera, communication, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, charging microUSB, 5 Band antenna, cellular 3G-modem and antenna Band 2, 64-bit Computing Processor Marvell PXA1928 or Nvidia Tegra K1, battery and speaker.

Modular Smartphone Google Ara

It should be noted that the useful battery elektrovydacha approximately 20-30% less than a conventional smartphone, since it is necessary to expend energy to maintain communication between the individual modules smartphone. Therefore, the battery life of the smartphone is still questionable.

Spiral presently offers two prefabricated modules 11, but before the end, their number will be increased to 30, including through the modules with more severe and LTE-cam coupling.

One of the main "chip" Ara smartphone is the ability to replace modules "on hot", without shutting down the device. Such a possibility has appeared thanks to the smartphone backup subsystem. Manage this function is a special application through which smartphone user indicates which module should be removed - like a USB-connected drives in the computer. For the replacement of a module, for example, low battery, now given to about 30 seconds, but in the future, Google plans to extend this time to a few minutes.

Modular Smartphone Google Ara

Some Western observers managed to hold Spiral 2 in hand, and although incorporate and evaluate its work it is unfortunately not possible, because the touch control is not completely ready, they shared their impressions. In Google showed how smart boot, made it clear that it works, of course, on the operating system Android. Due to the fact that the base of the smartphone is made of steel and aluminum, the device looks sturdy and stylish at the same time. Plug-ins and light plastic. In the hand unit is convenient, but at the expense of ribbing because of inter-module slots sensation of using a smartphone a little strange.

In comparison with the original project Spiral 1, in Spiral 2 Google has made a number of changes. So, elektropostoyannye magnets have been moved from the modules in the endoskeleton body, allowing more space has been released (as much as 40%) for the useful "stuffing" in blocks. Functionality of 3G-modem and analog radio frequency bus implemented within the housing, whereby an opportunity to connect the antennas belonging to different modules to one and the same modem, and vice versa. Also added a new sensor determine the level of air pollution.

Modular Smartphone Google Ara

Previously Google was planning to use three-dimensional printing, so that buyers can choose the exterior design of the modules in its sole discretion, now those plans have changed. Instead of 3D-printers the company will use sublimation transfer when small heating elements evaporated pigment with a special film, transferring it to the outside of the modules of polycarbonate plastic. Decorating each block using this method takes less than five minutes.

The company is already preparing for the development of Spiral 3, which will be significantly increased battery life per charge, will be pre-installed LTE-module, improved camera module (13-megapixel module Toshiba with video recording 1080p @ 240), the data transmission between the modules will be through contactless inductive system instead of the current spring-loaded contacts, and will support processor Rockchip.

Perhaps, Spiral 3 and will be the very first Ara-smartphone, which will go on free sale. The cost of a basic set of smartphone-designer should not exceed $ 50. It will consist of foundation, display, low-power processor, battery and Wi-Fi-module.

Modular Smartphone Google Ara

Presentation of the first modular smartphone is scheduled for the second half, and the debut market for selected tiny island nation of Puerto Rico, is closely associated with the United States. The choice of this country - not an accident, it will allow Google to win approval for the release of Ara from the US Federal Communications Commission, before the modular smartphone will produce commercially.

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nN Production said... March 24, 2015 at 7:04 PM

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