Google's modular phones tipped to star at MWC

  • AFP
  • Updated: Feb 13, 2015 17:06 IST

It looks as if Project Ara, a build-it-yourself system for creating affordable and truly personalized smartphones, could be ready for its consumer debut.

The project was officially announced in February 2014 and immediately captured the tech world's imagination.

And although Google has been providing video updates since and even held its first official developers' conferences for the project at the start of the year, there has been no suggestion that the project was ready to move beyond the prototyping stage.

The things that cause a smartphone to fall into obsolescence are usually its camera technology, amount of on-board storage and its processor. If it were simple to upgrade components, then the devices wouldn't need to be sent for recycling.

Project Ara aims to fix this by building phones out of blocks (think Lego) that could be clipped together, then unclipped just as easily and replaced by different blocks containing different components -- a bigger image sensor, more RAM, etc -- when the owner wanted to upgrade.

According to Phone Arena's sources, working phones and 50 modular components are expected to make their debut at the Mobile World Congress, which gets underway in Barcelona, Spain on March 2.

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