Posted Wed Jan 14, 2015 at 12:30 PM PST by Steven Cohen
The new technology will allow customers to mix and match smartphone components.
Google has announced plans to launch a market pilot for its Project Ara smartphones. The test will run in Puerto Rico later this year.
Project Ara lets consumers create their own custom smartphones using interchangeable parts. Instead of purchasing a pre-built handset with fixed specs, customers can buy an Ara smartphone frame and individual modular components for the screen, camera, speakers, processor and other hardware. This allows users to completely customize their phones with parts from different manufacturers. Likewise, it makes future upgrades a breeze as buyers can simply swap out individual parts for new hardware later on. The device is currently still in development, but Google hopes that its upcoming prototype, dubbed the Spiral 3, will be able to rival a high-end traditional smartphone while offering support for 20-30 modules.
An exact date for the company's Puerto Rico market pilot has not been announced. The test run will help Google prepare for a full global Project Ara launch in the future.
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