Project Ara Handset Is an Innovative Concept: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-04-21 Print this article Print

Project Ara, the modular phone design developed by a small team at Google called Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP), was the subject of the first-ever developers conference for the device last week. The event, hosted by Google and the ATAP team, gave journalists and developers their first glimpses at what could be the future of the search giant's plans for smartphones. Project Ara's concept of a modular smartphone that reportedly would be less expensive to manufacture and easier to customize, has excited consumers and industry pundits, alike. Although details are still somewhat slim on Project Ara, the developers conference and the details released so far by Google make one thing abundantly clear: A lot of smartphone buyers will want to get their hands on a Project Ara smartphone. There is little doubt that both consumers and corporate buyers would like to get their hands on a mobile device that makes it easier to select the features that are most useful to them or customize it for specific industry apps. This eWEEK slide show will take a look at what we know about Project Ara so far and why it's generating so much interest in the mobile market.

  • Project Ara Handset Is an Innovative Concept: 10 Reasons Why

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - Project Ara Handset Is an Innovative Concept: 10 Reasons Why
  • The Design Isn't Bad

    So far, Google has only shown off design ideas for its Project Ara handset, and hasn't said what will be final. And while they're not exactly on the same plane as the iPhone or Galaxy S5, they do come with some interesting features, like a wide range of colors and a thin design that's apt to appeal to many. Attractiveness has always been a big question mark with Project Ara, but it might not be an issue.
    2 - The Design Isn't Bad
  • Bulkiness Isn't Such a Big Issue

    Although the original Project Ara designs showed devices that looked rather bulky, the latest version has been slimmed down considerably. At the developers conference, Google showed off components that were easy to pop into place and maintained the device's thinness. Granted, the handset won't be as thin as the iPhone, but it'll be close. And that's OK.
    3 - Bulkiness Isn't Such a Big Issue
  • It Gives Buyers Greater Choice

    Smartphone buyers long desired the ability to choose for themselves what components they would like to see built into their mobile devices, and finally, they have that ability. It's not clear at this point just how many components will be available through Project Ara, but it appears that many suppliers are signing on to the project. Expect an exceptional amount of component choice when Project Ara devices finally launch.
    4 - It Gives Buyers Greater Choice
  • It Changes Handset Design for All Players

    Project Ara is a game-changer. If and when the technology launches, current product design approaches of competitors such as Apple, Samsung, HTC and others, will be thrown out the window. Now, all those competing device makers will likely be forced to design their handsets with greater modularity to give buyers expanded options.
    5 - It Changes Handset Design for All Players
  • Google Is Behind Project Ara

    Why should tech lovers and consumers want to get their hands on a Project Ara device? It might have everything to do with Google. The search company has the money to make Project Ara work the way it should, and it's not afraid to use the time it takes to get the technology right. So far, Google has done a solid job at delivering products that people want, and that should make folks feel better about Project Ara.
    6 - Google Is Behind Project Ara
  • Faster Upgrade Times?

    One of the issues with today's higher-end smartphones, like the iPhone, the HTC One M8 and Samsung's Galaxy S5, is that consumers need to wait for companies to upgrade components to a level at which they're satisfied. With Project Ara, the upgrade times are instant. With each new, high-end component that comes out, customers willing to pay for the upgrade can get it without being forced to wait for a device maker to include it in a new device. That's a major shift in device upgrades, and something that can't be overlooked.
    7 - Faster Upgrade Times?
  • We Choose the Price

    Another nice thing about Project Ara is that the customer essentially chooses the price they're willing to pay for a product. Those with deep pockets can choose all the high-end components and pay a pretty penny, while those who don't need those components or want to save some cash can go with lower-end options. The picking and choosing is a major selling point for both those who want the latest and greatest devices and those on a budget.
    8 - We Choose the Price
  • Photographers Will Love Project Ara

    Google employees have already made clear in interviews around the Web that photographers will love what they find in Project Ara. A host of camera add-ons will be accessible with Project Ara, allowing owners to create the image-taking experience they want. Some say that smartphones could eventually take on low-end digital SLRs in terms of image quality, and Project Ara might be the first device to prove it.
    9 - Photographers Will Love Project Ara
  • It's Plug-and-Play

    There's no fussing around with Project Ara. When customers find components they want with the device, they simply swap out the old option and input the new one. Google has promised that customers won't need to go to the store to get new components placed into the device, and it should be easy enough for even novices to understand and use. That will be a huge factor in Project Ara's appeal.
    10 - It's Plug-and-Play
  • It's Actually Innovative

    Looking at the latest smartphones, like the HTC One M8 and the Samsung Galaxy S5, customers will find very little difference in their components or their sales pitch to customers. Innovation, in other words, is dying a slow death in the mobile space. But Project Ara is actually innovative and shows some promise. It's nice to see, and it's something I look forward to checking out when the beta becomes a reality.
    11 - It's Actually Innovative

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