Project Ara gearing up with series of developer conferences

Google hopes modular smartphone will cost £30

Google has expressed its desire that the upcoming Project Ara modular smartphone will cost $50 (£30).

The ‘building block’ smartphone, which would allow consumers to purchase separate extra component blocks to add functionality on the fly, appears to be progressing from concept to reality following Google’s announcement of three developer conferences based around the device.

Meanwhile, Paul Eremenko, a former DARPA employee now working on the phone alongside Google’s Motorola Mobility department, told Time Techland that he hoped the base unit of the phone – including a screen, frame and Wi-Fi module – to cost no more than $50.

“The question was basically, could we do for hardware what Android and other platforms have done for software?” explained Eremenko.

“Which means lower the barrier to entry to such a degree that you could have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of developers as opposed to just five or six big [vendors] that could participate in the hardware space.”

The modular smartphone concept was pioneered by Dutch inventor Dave Hakkens, who joined Google to develop his modular ‘Phonebloks’ device concept further.

See PCR’s chat with Hakkens following the initial Phonebloks announcement here

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