Google is working on a modular Android smartphone, which enables users to upgrade the device themselves and promises a lengthy lifespan.
Dubbed Project Ara, the hardware is the brainchild of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP).
The device is meant as an infinitely customizable phone, for which people could shop around for additional hardware. The modules will be encased in covers that will be produced on demand using a new generation of 3D printers designed by 3D Systems.
Project head Paul Eremenko has said, “Let the consumer make…changes over their own life and their own evolution.”
“Our vision for the software architecture is a set of generic class drivers analogous to the way USB is treated today,” he said.
The modules are held together within a frame with the help of magnets and the device will not fall apart if dropped.
The first version of the phone, which could be used for five to six years, will likely be available in early 2015, costing between USD 50 and USD 500 to manufacture.
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