Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects Division just announced its first developer event for Project Ara, a modular smarpthone, yesterday, and a new follow-up profile by TIME indicates we could see the device come to market by next year, with a $50 price tag to start. The key phrase there is “to start,” however, as this smartphone with swappable components could get a lot pricier, very quickly.
Ara is designed to offer consumers choice, with an open platform design that provides a basic chassis from Google with, the option to customize functionality using modular components sourced from third-party hardware developers. Users could buy sensors, additional storage, more battery capacity, better speakers and so on, slotting in and out components as needed. Including stupid ones, by the way: project lead and DARPA vet Paul Eremenko tells TIME an “incense burner” could be a module
Google wants to get the price point…
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