Items tagged with Modular

Now, more than ever, manufacturers are exploring alternative ways to differentiate smartphones. One savior to the oversaturated smartphone market, that is rife with products with similar specifications, may come in the form of modularity. The promise of a modular phone, is an ability to adapt to a user’s needs in the moment. Purchasing a smartphone is traditionally a long-term investment. What might perfectly address day-to-day use, however, could come up short under specific use cases. We already took a close look at the Moto Z family and see promise in Moto Mods, but modular smartphones... Read more...
Google's Project Ara was ambitious from the start. The goal of Project Ara was to produce a modular smartphone platform, that could updated, upgraded, or augmented, by simply snapping new components in place. The concept seemed like a good idea. If your phone's performance was up to snuff, but you wanted a better camera, simply replace the camera module. Or if you wanted better performance, a more powerful SoC module would be an option. On some levels, it would be like updating a PC.Project Ara had been trudging along for a few years now. Google even cozied up to a handful of hardware partners,... Read more...
Google parent company Alphabet apparently has zero tolerance for failure and money-losing endeavors. We’ve seen Alphabet toss its Boston Dynamics robotics division to the side, and the company recently slashed Google Fiber’s staff in half. And now it looks as though the latest victim is the ambitious Project Ara modular smartphone platform. Both Reuters and Recode are confirming the news, with the former saying that it represents a “broader push to streamline the company's hardware efforts” according to sources within Google. Project Ara, which was part of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects... Read more...
When it comes to “modern” gaming consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, it almost seems like we’re often stuck in the past. Sony and Microsoft released these fixed-hardware platforms, and we’re stuck with them for 7 to 8 years until the next generation comes around, and then the process repeats itself. Compared to what’s happening with smartphones and PCs, the console industry is definitely behind the times. Xbox Chief Phil Spencer wants to change this with future consoles, making hardware upgrades easier. "When you look at the console space, I believe we will see more hardware innovation... Read more...
Microsoft is actually starting to pick up a bit of steam with its Surface hardware. Back in October, the company unveiled the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book, and the company is reportedly developing a Surface Phone to replace its Lumia smartphone family. So what else is in the pipeline for the Surface hardware team? Well if a recently revealed patent is any indication, the Surface team could be looking to tackle the desktop market. But rather than design a traditional desktop machine, Microsoft’s patent details a modular PC design that allows users to easily swap out components or add new functionality... Read more...
Google has making some huge strides in perfecting its Project Ara modular smartphone platform. Project Ara will allow customers to customize nearly every aspect of the their smartphones from processors to batteries to wireless connectivity to display. You want a higher resolution display? Just swap out your old display module for a new one. Is 16GB of storage not making the cut for you? A 64GB module upgrade is a simple plug-and-play affair. But while Google is still working through the late prototype stages of its smartphone platform, European company ImasD is putting the finishing touches on... Read more...
Google’s efforts to build a modular, “LEGO” smartphone are coming closer to fruition. When we last visited Project Ara back in late December, Google was in the midst of testing early version of its Spiral 2 prototypes. At the time, project lead Paul Eremenko revealed that not only would production Ara smartphones be available in two form-factors, but they NVIDIA’s powerful Tegra K1 would be one of two possible processor options available to developers and consumers. Today, during the Project Ara Module Developers Conference, Google provided another status update on its modular smartphone efforts,... Read more...
Google’s modular phone may be a long shot, but the prototype is ready and the project is still alive and kicking – and it may now get a boost from the recent popularity of health tech for mobile phones. Paul Eremenko, the head of Project Ara, spoke recently at the Engadget Engage conference and demonstrated a pulse oximeter module that can be connected to the Ara phone. He also suggested that Project Ara will be having a pilot in 2015, with a launch date named early that year. So, why would health tech drive demand for a modular phone? The pulse oximeter module is a good example: if... Read more...
There's probably a million and one reasons that skeptics can think of as to why Project Ara is doomed. And to be fair to the naysayers, the initiative certainly seemed doomed when Google sold its Motorola Mobility division to Lenovo for $2.91 billion earlier this year. But Project Ara lives, and though it remains to be seen if we'll be touting modular smartphones as early as next year, a semi-working prototype gives hope that Project Ara will reach the finish line. Speaking at Google's I/O developer conference, Project Ara's technical lead Paul Eremenko decided to show what kind of progress has... Read more...
Google’s Project Ara seeks to develop a modular smartphone that could revolutionize the mobile industry, but one company--Entegra Technologies--has already announced a modular tablet that it believes will bring about radical change perhaps even sooner. The Entegra Crossfire Pro is a tablet whose components you can swap in or out without upgrading the entire system. At launch, it will sport a 9.7-inch daylight-readable display with a resolution of 1024x768 that supports touch, glove, or stylus input. The device is no featherweight at 2.5lbs. The heart of the system is the quad-core Intel M-Series... Read more...
Even though Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone isn’t a Real Thing just yet (but allegedly will be come January), creative minds are already cooking up intriguing modules and add-ons for the smartphone. One from Samuel Herb, “The Aether Technician”, is a device that attaches to the Ara phone and turns it into a portable gaming system. Dubbed “Flippypad”, the design concept is a hinged controller that L and R buttons, a D-pad, dual flat joysticks, and ABXY buttons. It could ostensibly also house an extra battery, which would be ideal for sustaining long gaming... Read more...
Google’s Project Ara, an effort to develop a modular smartphone platform, sounded at first as much like vaporware as anything we’ve ever encountered, but Google is actually making it happen. In a whimsically upbeat YouTube video, Dave Hakkens (the guy who created the Phonebloks design that appears to be the conceptual basis for Project Ara) visited the Google campus to see what progress is being made on the project. The teams working on Project Ara have figured out a key solution to one of the first problems they encountered, which was how to keep all the modules stuck together. They... Read more...
When Google unexpectedly sold off Motorola to Lenovo after investing heavily in the Moto X and Moto G smartphones and owning the Motorola brand for less than two years, the fate of the Project Ara modular smartphone seemed doomed, but it appears that the project is very much alive and well. According to Time’s TechLand, Google did not sell off a key department: the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, which is responsible for Project Ara. So just how “alive” is Project Ara? The group announced that it’s holding a developers' conference on April 15-16 with a focus... Read more...
Razer has impressed at past CES events with innovative ideas such as Project Fiona (which became the Razer Edge), and the company is looking to conjure up that magic again with Project Christine, a unique, modular approach to constructing a gaming PC. Basically, the machine starts out with a spine of sorts onto which a number of modules can be attached. There are modules for CPUs, GPUs, storage, RAM, and everything else; all of the components sync via PCIe interfaces, so ostensibly all you need to do to upgrade a component is to pop in a new module. Want to upgrade from a single GPU to a tri-SLI... Read more...
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