I have made some mention about Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone which uses “swap-out” modules so you can customise it to your needs and tastes effectively.
The Project Ara platform, as I have said before, reminds me of the IBM PC family of desktop computers and other desktop computers built on the AT, ATX and similar platforms where you can easily install cards to add functionality to them or improve their functionality. This is something I have done so many times where I have moved hard disks, optical drives, video and sound cards and the like between different computers to gradually upgrade to the computer that I wanted.
But there has been a lot of mockup prototypes and proof-of-concept models being shown by Google to the press at various times. Now the rubber hits the road at Puerto Rico where they are doing an area-specific “market-test” on this concept using food trucks as a way to sell the phone and modules.
It has become a chance for the computer press to see some actual working examples in use where the device works as a mobile device – as in to see it work.
I do see the Google Ara platform become a way for other device manufacturers to implement ways to expand their devices to suit today’s needs. The key application that would come to mind would be Project Ara network or interface modules like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Zigbee modules installed in the “durable” class of devices like heating / air-conditioning systems or “white goods” to be part of the connected home; similar modules installed in Smart TVs to allow them to run newer firmware.