Google’s Ambitious Project Ara Shelved
Reliable sources have confirmed Google Inc has stalled it promising Project Ara. This project was focused on building a modular smartphone with interchangeable components. This comes as part of a broader push to streamline the company’s hardware efforts as reported by Reuters.
Google aims to build a phone that users could customize on the fly with an extra battery, camera, speakers or other components. It seems Google will not be producing this phone on its own, rather it will work in coordination with its partners to bring Project Ara’s technology to market. This will probably be done via licensing agreements confirmed an expert.
The modular smartphones had created a buzz amongst the tech community for their capabilities to prolong the lifespan of a device and reduce e-waste.Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis Research an analyst was not surprised to see Google halt the project. He said – “The devices are difficult to bring to market because their interchangeable parts make them bulky and costly to produce. This was a science experiment that failed, and they are moving on”
Google has taken first step by axing Project Ara in a campaign to unify its various hardware efforts, which include Chromebook laptops and Nexus phones. Former Motorola president Rick Osterloh rejoined Google year to manage the effort. Google also sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo Group in 2014.
Project Ara has been a promising project undertaken by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group with aims to develop new devices. Though they have not had a smooth ride and have faced various stops and starts.
Earlier last year the company shelved plans to sell the modular phone in Puerto Rico with Latin American carriers.