Project Ara

tl;dr: Google’s Project Ara has been working on modular phones for a year, and they’ve just partnered with Phonebloks, after it reached roughly a million people. Coincidence?

In an earlier post, I talked about Phoneblocks & Thunderclap a movement by a Dutch designer to generate attention for a modular phone.

Well, since then, it appears that this movement has garnered an interest from a particularly big player; Google’s Project Ara.

Apparently Google has been working on trying to build an open hardware ecosystem for a few years now, and this recent push in attention have encouraged them to actively partner with Phoneblocks, which has now been adopted into Google Ara:

This is of course a pretty great thing; I for one am looking forward to a world with open sourced and modular hardware. It strikes me as the logical step towards creating competitive platforms that are still feature-rich.

There are a few skeptics who think this was all a Guerilla marketing strategy, in order to source demand before investing into production:

In any case, it’s interesting seeing this project develop; I certainly didn’t expect us to already be so close to a viable product, but I guess Google is good at being one step ahead.

The future is going to be fun.


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