Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Jan 2017 22:04 UTC, submitted by dionicio
Google

VentureBeat has a great, in-depth sourced look at the rise of and fall of Ara, Google's modular phone project. One paragraph in particular stands out to me.

"One of the modules that we were working on was basically like a tiny aquarium for your phone," said the source. "It was a little tiny biome that would go inside of a module and it would have a microscope on the bottom part, and it would have live tardigrades and algae - some people call them water bears. They are the tiniest living organism. We had this idea to build a tardigrade module and we'd build a microscope with it. So you'd have this app on your phone and you could essentially look at the tardigrades up close and watch them floating around." Brooklyn-based art, design, and technology agency Midnight Commercial conceived the idea, and was commissioned by Google to build it, demonstrating the depth of what developers could create.

If the people working on Ara had the guts to come up with and actually build things like this, they were on the right track. This is exactly the kind of crazy, outlandish stuff that would be a perfect fit and marketing gimmick for a crazy, outlandish product like Ara.

I am incredibly sad that Ara has been cancelled. I realise full well it would never be the kind of massive product like the Galaxy series or the iPhone, but I don't care - I just really, really like the idea, the concept, and the possibilities, mass appeal be damned.

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Trading Cards for big boys..and girls..!
by mistersoft on Thu 12th Jan 2017 00:51 UTC
mistersoft
Member since:
2011-01-05

I too think it's pretty sad the project was cancelled.. and sad it didn't get to see a full commercial launch with 3rd party partners lined up with modules ready to go.

..even if the initial modules were mostly Alphabet developed base modules (skeleton - couple of sizes, screens, battery, memory, camera, CPU e.g. from competing manufacturers or even architectures - do Intel even have half and eye on the smartphone market long term) - well anyway, as long as there were 3/4 module spaces left for audio, hardware encryption?, fun1 and fun2 ...then people I believe would swap the shit out of fun1 and fun2 modules and just try them out sharing amongst peer groups, with perhaps a little collection of their own.

could have been a great little hardware sharing ecosystem. Of course initial purchasing money would have to flow into it too, but if sharing took off it would keep the fun and interest in the platform alive

Oh well

(p.s. Until something better came along I'd vote for fun1 and fun2 modules both being dual wifi-ethernet modules -for on-the-go networking/routing fun. But maybe I'm odd )

Edited 2017-01-12 00:53 UTC

Reply Score: 4

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Have grands on family. Diminished Sight, Hearing, Memory... A module to make a phone useful to Them.

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

mistersoft,

(p.s. Until something better came along I'd vote for fun1 and fun2 modules both being dual wifi-ethernet modules -for on-the-go networking/routing fun. But maybe I'm odd )


I would choose servo & stepper motor drivers, maybe I'm odd too ;)

Reply Score: 2