Google has hired Rick Osterloh to run a new division to unify the company’s disparate hardware projects. According to Re/code the former president of Motorola left the Lenovo-led handset maker last month. One project that he will oversee is a Google-branded smart phone. Google already partners with LG and Huawei under the Google Nexus brand. So why a Google branded phone?
Google’s new phone is Ara and is a module based phone. The phone technology is in the frame, creating space for the modules. There are six modules in the phone:
- The modules are interchangeable. All the module fit in all the slots.
- The slots are faster and use less power than a USB.
- Slots are interconnected.
- Modules work with current frames and will work with all future frames.
- There is never software or drivers to download. Plug in the module and use it.
- To remove a module, select it on the apps screen and say “Okay Google'” then give the command to eject that module.
The Ara ships with four modules, a speaker, a camera, an E-Ink display, and an expanded memory module. Add more speakers and your phone is a boom box. Add more batteries for longer phone life. Third-party hardware developers can build for Ara smartphones. Medical technology modules are a possibility and who knows what else. Blaise Bertrand, head of creative and marketing chief for Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects had this to say about future third-party modules:
“We know that people are going to build crazy stuff, and that’s OK. In fact, we’re looking forward to this.”
The customizable ARA Smartphone might be the phone of the future. The developer model is scheduled for release in the fall of 2016. Plans are for the phone to reach the everyday consumer some time in 2017.