Google's Next Phase of Project Ara: Spiral 2 Modular Phone

dgstorm

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The latest prototype of Project Ara from Google was shown off during the developers conference that occurred this morning. this one is called Spiral 2, and not only did they share some new images of it, they also showed off a video.



Here's a quote with a few more details,

Now with eleven different prototype modules, each of which will act as a reference design for third-party developers hoping to get onboard with Ara themselves, Spiral 2 supports hot-swapping those modules as well as making 3G calls.

The hardware for Spiral 2 is done, Head of Project Ara Paul Eremenko said, though the firmware itself is not. "Firmware is hard," he joked, inviting any firmware experts attending the developer event to contact him regarding a job.

Here at DroidForums HQ we were a bit skeptical of Project Ara at first, but the more we see of it the more we are impressed. Sound off and let us know what you think of Spiral 2 from Google's Project Ara? Will it make waves in the industry when it is finally released or sink to the bottom?

Source: SlashGear
 
I'm hoping something like this can really take off... people will not only be able to finally have a phone that is truly theirs it will also open the ability for those of us that like to tinker to... tinker, like building your own computer, if it's truly hot swappable as well.. that's awesome. the possibilities are endless.

if anyone can pull this off its google
 
My question is how will they get carrier support. They NEED the carriers to support them. Will_insert your carrier here_allow a device that hasn't been tested on their network? I'm about 99.9% sure VZW won't allow it. Perhaps they will have to show the carriers that all thats needed is the obvious (proper radios).

I'd love to hear some opinions, speculation, ideas on how they will make this work with carrier support.
 
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My question is how will they get carrier support. They NEED the carriers to support them. Will_insert your carrier here_allow a device that hasn't been tested on their network? I'm about 99.9% sure VZW won't allow it. Perhaps they will have to show the carriers that all thats needed is the obvious (proper radios).

I'd love to hear some opinions, speculation, ideas on how they will make this work with carrier support.
I think your idea of proper radios, i.e. non-swappable radios is the most likely idea... the motherboard and radio will all be standard it's the camera ram cpu gpu and other add-ons that will be interchangeable.

maybe we'll get lucky and a new carrier will come on the scene and throw everything we know out the window, if we're lucky that will happen. however unlikely it is anything is still possible. think gone internet you use your own devices on their network. just the modem is standard.


Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk
 
Google has been talking about getting into the carrier business using alternative wireless tech. Can you imagine if Google used the final working retail version of Project Ara as their flagship device to kick off a new wireless carrier service to compete directly with the duopoly of Verizon and AT&T?
 
My question is how will they get carrier support. They NEED the carriers to support them. .

Excellent point. Not to be Douglas downer here, but I just don't see this coming to the mainstream market anytime soon, despite the fact they've been working on this for a few years now. While it's an awesome concept that I would love to see come to fruition, there are simply too many hurdles to overcome and too many hands in the proverbial cookie jar, for this to be the end all/be all answer to the prefect customizable smartphone that everyone wants it to be.
Because it's open to so many developers/manufacturers, compatibility issues are going to be major factor. The fact that technology these days advances at such a high rate, manufacturing the various modules in order to keep up with current tech is going to be tough.
Like I said I think it's a great concept, I just think it's going to take awhile to really take off and get to the point where it's both affordable and to where the variety of modules are easily available to be upgraded right away.
Then as CK pointed out, getting the carriers on board is going to be key.
But Mr. Storms idea of Google getting into the carrier business would be instrumental in the success of this device...not to mention very exciting.

It will be an interesting journey to say the least.

S5 tap'n
 
it would be amazing to swap out radio and go from 1 carrier to another. Plus upgrading like a PC with help keep the tech current and i wonder how that would affect people buying new phones every 2 yrs and extending contracts. You buy this and contracts are not an issue since you can essentially reconfigure and have a new phone. Hope this does take off!
 
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I have a hard time seeing this really take off.

That makes me sad, but I know only people like myself and you other fine folks here will be interested in hot-swapping modules in our phones on the go.

Maybe the masses will prove me wrong when these devices actually launch, but I don't see people who's only computer experience is Facebook and who're on their first smartphone wanting something like this.

I hope I'm wrong, or I hope at least that the market among folks like us is large enough to sustain this concept.

Either way, I'm interested to see what shakes out.
 
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I agree Jonny....I'm seeing it as definitely a niche market. Heck, developer phones have never really sold well. I know that's like comparing apples to oranges, but still. Its really going to take an amazing product to begin with, some major advertising and a decent price point for the general public to really buy into this concept.

S5 tap'n
 
Excellent point. Not to be Douglas downer here, but I just don't see this coming to the mainstream market anytime soon,

S5 tap'n
I think you're absolutely correct in your assumption. They'll get the project (pun intended) up and running in a few markets, gain some market penetration, hone their model, get carrier interest and move into more markets. Take 2-3 years at the minimum

Its going to be a slow process for sure. Perhaps they just keep Project Ara a small project for select and emerging markets...dunno.
 
I think this can transform into something bigger than just a bunch of blocks. Though I do not see Google doing this because of all the patent wars with Microsoft, if they could make this a project that involves multiple companies such as Microsoft, HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, Bose, Sony, and other manufacturers people could literally construct devices that they want and not just buy a device that fits them best based on manufacturers trying to build what they think customers want. We could finally have a tablet worth buying vs one that feel like a large smart phone.

Project ARA is at least 3 years away from maturing to a device that Google envisioned. The block concept that we see now is the basics for getting this going. In 3 years I see ara phones looking like the phones we see on the market today.
 
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Good point. Getting as many manufacturers on board as possible would be ideal. But then costs would soar through the roof as everyone would want a piece of the pie profit wise. It would be a logistical nightmare on so many fronts.
Of course I still hope it succeeds.

S5 tap'n
 
Really, it's quite an incredible concept and the video makes it all that much more exciting. I wonder though, if even the radio could be swappable, but with an interlock that is controlled by the carrier with a radio signal. In other words, you buy it through Verizon, drop the Verizon radio into the device and it locks into the slot. Now, until you complete the contract obligations the module is latched into place and can't be removed. Once your contract is up, the carrier sends a "release" signal and the latch that holds it in place is retracted allowing you to pull it and plug in another radio if you so choose.

This would allow it to be sold under the typical subsidy that we're so spoiled and used to here in the US. It's really not much different than ESN blacklist, except that in this case you can't "jailbreak" the radio module since it's a piece of hardware. From the carrier's point of view this is even more secure and protects them from cancelled contracts and taking phones to another network on their dime. It's just a concept I've toyed with.
 
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