Google Project Ara shows off the first phone prototype

When Google sold Motorola to Lenovo, the sale didn't include one of the best divisions of Motorola – its Advanced Technology and Projects group - which included the popular Project Ara modular phone concept. Project Ara is an open-source initiative that will potentially allow consumers to build their own smartphone based on a modular platform. We've envisioned the device for months, and finally here is the first prototype of the phone.

Google's Project Ara team has now released a new video showing the first prototype of the device dubbed Spiral 1. Its just a prototype and quite clunky, but a new version of the device called Spiral is expected to be released next year in january at a developer conference.

The techie for whom the project is named, Ara Knaian, is seen in the video. He says that Spiral 1 leaves a spacious room for developers to make changes. He further explains how it will help them create various modules and attach them to the phone's frame. With Spiral 2, most of the developing area will be made available for the developers, thanks mostly to chips created by Toshiba.

For those not in the know-how, Project Ara comes with a structural frame that holds smartphone modules of the owner’s choice, such as a display, keyboard or say the battery. The approach allows users to swap out malfunctioning modules or upgrade as new innovations emerge. This also means that the handset can potentially last much longer than normal smartphones do. Undoubtedly, it is an interesting project that has the potential to revolutionise the mobile world.

A look at the Spiral 1

A look at the Spiral 1

Though Google retains all the patents developed by the Advanced Technology group, Lenovo  - that now owns Motorola  - will get the license for using these patents. On first look, it seems like Google is returning to its core business of making software, rather than hardware.

Earlier this year, Google had also announced that it will give the first 100 testers of the Project Ara, a modular phone for free. Do you think this modular smartphone system has the potential to turn into a mainstream product and revolutionise the world?

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