Wednesday, 16 April 2014


#Google #ProjectAra #Phonebloks

Good afternoon, Synapse Circuit Readers! How goes it? I hope that all is well in your world! It may please you to know that it is once again a sunny day in London Town! However, there’s a distinct arctic breeze cutting through the air!

I tell you, it’s great to see a future technology blossom. It’s greater still to be writing about it. Such a blossoming technology is Google’s Project Ara: the world’s first modular handset.

From idea to physicality can take eons but Project Ara is blazing on all cylinders and it could be on the market early 2015! You never know, it could be on the market towards the end of this year at the speed the development is going! Unlike Google Glass which seems to be taking forever to get that wearable device to the market; it’s gone on sale for one day only and for $1,500!!!??? The price seems a little steep but I am sure that the price of Google Glass will come down once it is mass produced!

Even now, Ara, the modular phone appears to be ready! My guess is that there are manufacturing details regarding the module aspect to sort out. I am also wondering if the Ara handset will be ready to launch worldwide simultaneously or just the USA in the first instance.

Last night I watched the conference from the comfort of my home office seat...

I was thrilled to see how one will be able to customize the physical modular aspects as well as how Android allows for customization through the use of wallpapers, widgets and custom launchers! It just looks fantastic! What’s more is that the base model will probably cost around $50! I am curious as to how much it would cost to have the largest size and the best modules attached! Still, I would hope that the cost will not be the equivalent to, let’s say, the latest top of the range Samsung Galaxy handset.

It was interesting to listen to the key developers speak about how the modules are magnetically shielded and how certain aspects of Android would have to change to accommodate the various modules from a myriad of manufacturers.

Technically it is possible to combine two endoskeletons together to create one heck of a phablet! I would also imagine that it’ll be possible to create a modular tablet too! Yes, it would make sense to be able to create a tablet for a specific use in mind: entertainment / leisure or heavy duty business / creative use!

I have understood that it’ll be possible to swap out components even when the handset is on! Very nice! If I heard correctly, the battery can be swapped out and there will be enough power left in the handset during the swap! Brilliant!

Once again, it’s Google that is creating the excitement regarding the mobile device market. This move can be great for the environment due to the fact that the mass of discarded electronics is having an adverse effect on the planet. You crap upstream and it comes downstream. You can’t escape it and it is heart warming to see that Google is paving the way for manufacturers to be planet friendly.

I believe that such modular components will be easier to repair and recycle. Imagine a broken screen easily replaced with a new one and the old one recycled without having to go through the current process that produces toxic waste; children in other parts of the world are removing the gold from discarded electronics while breathing in toxic smoke. Heavy metals such as nickel and mercury find its way into the water stream. The people who work at the dismantling of discarded electronics often suffer from awful skin lesions and yet they keep working for miniscule pay because they can’t afford to feed themselves. It’s unacceptable in this day and age.

These heavy metal pollutants are affecting water life, the earth – nothing can grow in the land used for dismantling electronics. It’s a crazy situation we are all creating. I try to be responsible by giving my old (fully functional) electronics to second hand charity shops in the hope that someone will find use for it. Or I take them to computer exchange shops – if the devices aren’t too antiquated.

I wonder if other manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, etc will develop a modular handset too... And if it were to happen would the modules be compatible with Ara? It’d be great if other modular projects from other manufacturers would be compatible with each other thus minimalizing waste / pollution.
What do you reckon?   

Take good care!

Thank you for watching and reading!

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