Project Ara devices will be a huge cornerstone of the future smartphone landscape, primarily because it will give individuals the chance to build a smartphone to their desired specifications by choosing different components of the device, including things like the camera, processor, battery capacity, and even the screen size of the device. Developing a device like this though isn’t without its roadblocks and difficulties, and during the recent Linaro Connect conference for 2015, Linaro CEO George Grey talks about some of those hurdles and gives attendees of the conference a hands on of an Ara device assembly while discussing the different modules.
This conference for Linaro follows the second official developer conference held for Project Ara just a couple of weeks back. For those who are unaware Linaro handles the ARM open source software development for the Project Ara device, and Grey mentions that Project Ara work will heavily influence other open source projects like Linux, and of course Android, which kind of explains their deep commitment to Project Ara. The influence it will have will largely be due to the capability to “hot swap” pieces, or Modules as their known officially, of the device components while also bringing dynamic apps and dynamic devices to the forefront of the mobile device realm.
Grey also talks about how hot swapping certain pieces of the device could possibly affect the user experience and how the act of being able to swap out components on the fly could have an implication on how a specific application might work. He uses an example of taking out the camera module during use of a text message application which could be used for taking and sending photos, and how they’re dealing with the process of how to get the device to handle that hot swap without killing the messaging app should you want to still use the app to send messages. This just focuses on one single challenge they face of finding a way to make applications as modular and dynamic as the software and the operating system as well as the Project Ara device(the hardware)itself. Shortly after discussing Project Ara and how it will change the way we think about smartphones and the app development within their ecosystems, we get to see the device assembled module by module and finally booted up. Check out the video below to see the Project Ara segment from the Linaro Connect conference.