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Google Reinvents the Smartphone by Bringing Project Ara to Puerto Rico

Google Reinvents the Smartphone by Bringing Project Ara to Puerto Rico

by Clay Michael GillespieJanuary 15, 2015

If you’re looking for a crazy idea that just might work, you won’t have to look far if you gaze in Google’s direction.

Today, Google announced its plan to launch their Project Ara smartphones in Puerto Rico to test the market. The smartphone is called a “modular smartphone” and changes everything the current market thought it understood about how the phone system works.

As for why Google chose Puerto Rico to introduce the first run of the phones, they explained their decision in a statement.

“Puerto Ricans are mobile first …The carrier landscape is diverse and competitive with U.S., Latin American, and local carriers. As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico is under FCC jurisdiction so we would continue our work with the FCC on a regulatory approach for Ara. Puerto Rico is a gateway from the U.S. to the world … It is well-connected as a communications, logistics and trade hub. It has designated free trade zones which we can use for importing modules from developers worldwide. University of Puerto system (all 11 campuses) have joined the ATAP Multi-University Research Agreement (MURA) which provides an agile and flexible mechanism for engaging individual faculty and labs in research to support Ara and other ATAP projects.”

What On Earth Is This New Google Phone?

Project ARANormally when people buy a phone, they accept all the features and hardware that come along with it. They can stylize it with different cases and covers, but that’s about the extent of changing the phone the consumer can easily do.

With Project Ara, the smartphone is all about customization to fit different needs. The phone itself is basically an exoskeleton, waiting for the owner to purchase little tiles that can either be batteries, cameras, screens and other nifty gadgets.

When people want to upgrade, they simply need to buy new tiles that suit their needs. If they crack their screen, they aren’t stuck; they can buy a new screen tile and replace it.

Also read: Google Ditches Security Support for 60% of Android Users

Because the concept is so new, it’s a bit difficult for people to wrap their heads around it. It truly redefines how smartphones are viewed and will be interesting to see how it performs in the market. Until then though, check out the Google video teaser showcasing how the phone looks and works.

Images from Google and Wikimedia Commons.

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