Google has detailed new developments on Project Ara, the company's modular smartphone concept. At a Module Developers Conference this week, the company said that it plans to launch the product as a pilot later this year in Puerto Rico in order to get a feel for the market.
This Project Ara test drive will take place in the second half of this year, those living in Puerto Rico will be able to buy the phone skeleton along with several modules through local carriers partnered up with Google. There is still a lot of work to be done but the project is currently in phase 2, the prototype currently in development is referred to as ‘Spiral 2'.
The Spiral 2 prototype can now connect to 3G as well as WiFi, Google's Advanced Technology and Projects Group is currently in talks with carriers to get Ara devices on to store shelves at some point in the future. Future developments will include support for 4G as well as a way for developers to create and sell modules to work with these devices.
There is still some mystery surrounding Project Ara though, cost is still an unknown factor, although we have heard that Google hopes to sell the basic skeleton for as low as $50. It will be interesting to see how well the modular devices perform in Puerto Rico this year and if that will lead to the phone coming to other countries fairly soon.
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KitGuru Says: Project Ara has been intriguing to follow, with many hoping that in the future, they will be able to build their own smartphone with custom specifications. However, for the time being, it looks like the device is going to be aimed at developing countries.