Project Ara: First impressions

Our guest editor is happy about the idea of custom-built devices.

COMMENT: Yes. Yes. And once more YES!
I have waited sooooo long for an initiative such as this to appear. I want to be able to buy my phone to suit my needs. If that means that I have to specify the parts to go into it, so be it.
"Ah!" you might say, "but you're a computer geek!"
Yes, there are more questions than answers at the moment. But I, for one, applaud this initiative. If we can allow manufacturers to focus on their strengths and streamline their production, then all the better.
So? I see no reason why building a mobile phone should be any different from building a charm bracelet from Troll or Pandora beads. The construction of a personal mobile phone should be "connect and go" with no soldering or trying to jam a unit into a socket or swearing and then blaming "them" for being idiots because "they" made the module I have spilt blood over and subsequently, inadvertently, destroyed any hope of a warranty repair because bits of my fingers, millilitres of my blood and bent connections are out of the scope of the warranty It is entirely possible to create a simple environment to build a phone out of compatible hardware.
I want a good lens - never underestimate the role the lens plays in your multi-megapixel camera. Nokia has used Carl Zeiss lenses to good effect over the years why not create a modular image capture unit featuring CZ lenses and a good processor from your favourite digital camera manufacturer?
What about stereo speakers from your choice of any of the major speaker manufacturers? The latest, greatest processors? A fingerprint processor? A larger battery for people who use their phone heavily during the day? A phone without a camera for sites with issues of privacy (or even just hand in the lens/image processor at reception)? What about only buying parts from responsible manufacturers who only use recyclable material in their manufacturing process?
The opportunities are endless. It would also create a market for other specialist, non-phone manufacturers to bring their expertise and hardware to the market (I'm looking at you, Bose, and you, Nikon).
Admittedly, this is currently all "Cloud Cuckoo Land" as Apple and Microsoft are hardly likely to embrace a standard which would undermine their proprietary hardware platforms; I can kiss goodbye to my Carl Zeiss lens.
Google has less to fear as it is behind this project, but it may raise some queries about the role that the increasingly proprietary Android platform will play. What about drivers for a potential myriad of hardware? What happens to the "Bedroom Boffins" who write apps for a well-known and prescribed hardware platform? The role of Google/Motorola in licensing the platform might leave the idea dead in the water.
Yes, there are more questions than answers at the moment. But I, for one, applaud this initiative. If we can allow manufacturers to focus on their strengths and streamline their production, then all the better as we head towards my (and your) optimum phone, sourced from "Best of Breed" modules.
One final wish? The standard must agree on only one ONE power charging and interface adapter. I'm looking at you, Apple
Featured Resources

BIOS security: The next frontier for endpoint protection

Today’s threats upend traditional security measures

Download now

The role of modern storage in a multi-cloud future

Research exploring the impact of modern storage in defining cloud success

Download now

Enterprise data protection: A four-step plan

An interactive buyers’ guide and checklist

Download now

The total economic impact of Adobe Sign

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by Adobe Sign

Download now

Recommended

Hey Google, navigate where there's no COVID-19
Google Android

Hey Google, navigate where there's no COVID-19

24 Sep 2020
Google takes on Zoom with launch of Meet hardware
video conferencing

Google takes on Zoom with launch of Meet hardware

16 Sep 2020
Google Maps adds parking payments via the app
Google Android

Google Maps adds parking payments via the app

4 Sep 2020
Digital Services Act: Google asks European Commission to clarify responsibilities
Policy & legislation

Digital Services Act: Google asks European Commission to clarify responsibilities

4 Sep 2020

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
Google removes 17 apps infected with evasive ‘Joker’ malware
malware

Google removes 17 apps infected with evasive ‘Joker’ malware

28 Sep 2020