Project Ara : Customize your gadget
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Momina Rizwan


Every now and then there are tech innovations and breakthroughs but imagine the world practically revolving around the consumer in every possible way ! This is where the current trends in technology are headed with Google on it’s way to launch it’s Project Ara in 2016 (with the price range still uncertain) in which it aims to customize Smart phones but could be extended further to other smart devices like watches.

The idea of your smart phone as an all-in-one toolkit , a health monitor or a screw-driver doesn’t sound strange with boundless possibilities one can equip the most intimate and empowering gadget in possession. Project Ara is the name given to the initiative aimed towards developing and open hardware platform for creating highly modular ,customized smart phones.

The concept sounds highly ambitious since customizing 6 billion mobile devices is anything but a small feat letting the consumer make thoughtful choices about exactly what their phone looks like and functions as. It allows users to swap out and upgrade the core components of a smartphone (processor, camera, etc.) individually rather than replace the whole device. It is similar to the concept of custom made PCs and could greatly help in reducing electronic waste.

It starts with buying a basic model Ara phone(endoskeleton) and data backbone of the device. The user can then add/remove/swap “modules,” the building blocks that make up the majority of the phone’s functionality and features as they see fit. These modules are what provide the edge to the whole device and can be easily and safely inserted and removed at any time, even while the device is powered on. Ultimately, customers can buy a complete Ara phone, configure one from scratch, or buy additional modules through the Ara Module Marketplace. The modules also have user-replaceable covers or “shells,” which provide a creative way for users to make their phone look exactly as they wish.

Google isn’t new to the smart phone market and knows well what their typical android user wants from their smart phone finally coming to the conclusion that there is a market for custom-tailored smartphones. Google's Project Ara is a modular smartphone which could potentially re-define the market. Ara lets you make thoughtful choices and tell your story through your device, this concept could attract the customers as its breaks away from the traditional smart phone idea.

This concept is further taken up by manufacturers of other wearable tech like smart watches with Motorola already offering a design-your-own service with Moto 360.The smart watch experience combined with the process of customizing is what makes it quite rewarding for many customers specially after Motorola is clearly aware that people buy watches not only for their functionality but also because how they look and having a bespoke piece of technology on your wrist seems like a promising idea.

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