We’ve already touched a little bit on Project Ara today, but this time will be a little different. Earlier we showed you a little video which was uploaded by Phoneblocks that gave us a glimpse into the past of Project Ara, and how it came to be where it is now. Thanks to this tweet posted earlier by the Project Ara team, we can check out the video that starts off with a demo of how Project Ara would work once things are ready for prime time. The Project Ara phone(now being referred to as the Google Ara by Project Ara team members) in the video is just a modular demo unit, as they weren’t actually able to get a working prototype to boot for the festival, but it was admitted that they were trying to get a working prototype to do it’s thing on camera. Sadly, they weren’t able to make it happen.
However, we still get a nice look at how all the modular pieces of Ara come together,(or apart depending on how you look at it). The video shows Ara Team Member and new Google employee Paul Eremenko going over the prototype,(which he calls a High Fidelity Industrial Design Prototype, in other words, a fancy name for a 3D-printed demo model device) and talking about the pieces and showing how they slide right out of place. The Ara base is apparently made up of a very low force 3 newton permanent magnet, that allows just enough magnetic force to keep the modular pieces in place when handling the device, but easily detachable should you want to take pieces apart and replace them or swap them out. The enclosures are set up in a way that allows the user of the device to remove them should they need a new piece to repair, or simply if they want to get something more powerful or apply something with a different look.
Think about the way that you swap out parts and components of a PC, and apply that to the basic idea of this phone. According to the video, the bases of the Project Ara device will come in three different sizes, a small, a medium, and a large. Giving users even the choice to start with how big they want their phone to be. Other details within the video state that Google is looking to provide a place to purchase and obtain modules and pieces for your device, but they also have plans to allow third party channels to offer modules to consumers as well. Give the video a look as its definitely full of interesting information about Ara, and if you want to jump right to the Project Ara part of the video it starts at about 5 minutes in.
— Project Ara (@ProjectAra) February 28, 2014