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Google's newest project will let you put together smartphones like Lego

Project Ara looks at the possibility of putting together hardware blocks to create a smartphone, instead of getting people to buy a single, fully constructed phone.

An example of how a Project Ara phone would look.
An example of how a Project Ara phone would look.
Image: Google ATAP/Google+

AFTER ANNOUNCING ITS intention to map rooms and areas in 3D through Project Tango, Google’s next project is to break smartphones down into blocks, allowing people to build their own custom phone.

The company announced last night it will be hosting its first Ara Developers’ Conference this April. The conference will be one of three that will be held in 2014 and will be held online with a live webstream and an interactive Q&A.

The conference is part of Project Ara, an open-source initiative that would allow users to upgrade parts of their smartphone’s hardware through blocks without having to invest in a different phone.

This would mean you could shop around for separate parts and use them to build or upgrade your own custom phone.

The conference will focus on the alpha release of the Ara Module Developers’ Kit, an open-source platform that is expected to be released in early April. The organisers say that it will be a “detailed walkthrough of existing and planned features of the Ara platform and community feedback sessions.

Project Ara was originally started by Phonebloks and Motorola back in October before Google sold the latter off to Lenovo in January for $2.91 billion.

The conference is very much aimed towards those developers who would be interested in customising their phones beyond the software.

It also hints towards a future where Google will create products that can be customised with individual parts and considering how there are new phone upgrades announced every year, having the ability to replace and upgrade parts of a phone would be appealing to techies.


(Video: Phone bloks/YouTube)

Read: Turns out Google didn’t bid for WhatsApp after all >

Read: Nokia moves into new territory by launching its first Android smartphone >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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