Google gets ready for Project Ara, Toshiba to provide foundation for the device
We are getting another step closer to seeing Google’s Project Ara become reality as Japan’s Nikkei business wire reports that Toshiba has been chosen to provide the processing power for the device which is due to hit the market next year.
Project Ara is Google’s modular smartphone concept which plans to allow users to customise and build their own device, whilst allowing each component to be easily upgraded and swapped when necessary. 3D printing for modules was also being looked into as Google teams up with 3D Systems to produce fully customised designs for users.
The device will be based on an endo-skeleton, currently in 3 sizes, which will house several modules on both sides, and the report has suggested that each handset will have space for 5-10 modules depending on its size.
Three types of processors is said to be prepared by Toshiba, which will control the flow of data and electrical signals between the modules and the phone, among other things. Initially, Toshiba will be the “preferred supplier” for the components, but it will become Google’s sole chipmaker a year after the initial rollout of Project Ara.
The report also claims that Project Ara will start at prices as low as $50, but with no clear description of what specs and hardware will be included, we imagine it will only include the most basic elements such as a display and battery. But the aim of the device is so consumers will be able to set their own price on the phone as they make their decision on how they would like to build the device.
Here’s a previous update by Phonebloks, the company behind the modular phone concept, if you would like a glimpse of that the folks at Google are up to.