Google has revealed that the company is going to test a prototype for its modular phone, the Project Ara smartphone. The phone is set to be tested with consumers in Puerto Rico this year.
Project Ara is Google’s idea of allowing users to swap out specific components of their phone without having to purchase or replace their entire device. This means if consumers would like a new processor, camera, or battery, they can change out those components and replace them with upgraded versions.
Director of Project Ara at Google, Paul Eremenko, recently showed off an Ara prototype called the Spiral 2. It is capable of 3G phone calls and has customizable shells to fit to one’s unique tastes. A newer version of the prototype, Spiral 3, is set to be made this year and it will include the 4G LTE function along with better antennas. According to Mashable, Eremenko says it “will help significantly in performance.”
Puerto Rico is said to be chosen because it has a diverse population making it a good platform for testing. Devices will be released though two Puerto Rico-based carries: Claro, and OpenMobile. Cost per phone will depend on the amount and types of modules the consumer chooses.
We and Google can only hope that Puerto Rico will respond well to this new device because it will be then that they can be released elsewhere.
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