Meet Ara – The New Smartphone on the Block
People are getting more and more impatient to get their hands on the latest models of the smartphone tycoons. But let’s be honest, we’ve been seeing the same features and design patterns over and over again. Smartphones have been here for quite some time now and it’s already no surprise that recent prototypes are showcasing bigger screens and thinner breadth. Nonetheless, none of them is as revolutionary as the iPod when it first landed in the market.
This 2017, tech-savvy and phone enthusiasts should watch out for the new kid on the block, Ara. And, it’s not from Apple nor Samsung; it’s a product launched by no other than Google.
Ara is a modular smartphone developed by Rafa Camargo from Google’s Advanced Technology and Products division. What sets it apart from the typical 5-inch smartphones is the presence of “modules.” These modules are similar to your Lego blocks, the only difference is, they have specific high-grade functions.
The initial modules released by Google are cameras, speaker and microphone arrays, a stand, a fingerprint reader, a non-functional stylish module, and an e-ink display for notifications and other information. No doubt that Google will provide state-of-the art technology for each part. What’s more is that these basic parts can also be replaced with accessories such as panic buttons, fitness trackers, short-cut buttons, flashlights, and compact cases either for pills, contact lenses, or makeup. Despite all these fascinating and groundbreaking attributes, what will really make this a coveted gadget is the experience that it can offer.
The appeal of this product comes with the freedom of the users to construct their phones, just like what they do with Lego. Nowadays, consumers find delight in knowing and seeing the possibilities of what they can build with their own hands, and this is how Google plans to capture the heart of its future users. All the bits and pieces of the Ara phone can be removed and swapped according to one’s preferences. Rather than being a mere user, a customer has the opportunity become a builder. And in one way or another, it can give them a sense of amazement and satisfaction.
The innovators of this technology found inspiration from Dutch designer Dave Hakkens’ Phonebloks, a phone that is easy to disintegrate and construct. Seeing this opportunity, Google specialists immediately got their hands busy in developing the patent and upgrading it until its announcement to the public earlier this year.
There is no final word on how much the 5.3-inch smartphone will be, but its individual modules are rumored to cost around $10 to as much as $500, depending on functionality and caliber. For now, the new Google gadget will work mainly on an Android OS, which can be a drawback for the company, as its main target market includes the loyalists of Apple.
No doubt that many big names in the industry will follow suit and counterfeits will soon be available. But one thing’s for sure, Google’s Ara is the dream machine for utility, storage, design, and innovation. It is, and will definitely be, the smartphones’ game-changer.