I've been keeping my eye on what I think is one of the most exciting new developments in technology, Project Ara.
Spearheaded by Google, it’s a new initiative with the goal of creating a durable, long-lasting modular phone. There's nothing else in the current cell phone market that allows for that level of customization they're dreaming up. Numerous companies, agencies, and designers from around the world are contributing their own concepts to what will be a democratic and creative evolution of the smartphone.
The advantages of a modular phone go beyond just personalization. When one part of your phone wears out, breaks, or becomes obsolete, you can easily replace just the non-functioing component. Our current habits creates a HUGE amount of waste. We go to the store and upgrade to a brand new phone whenever just one component decides to break. Cracked screens and batteries are easily replaced, but imagine if you could replace your camera or speaker when those happen to malfunction.
Another exciting aspect to Project Aara is its “open-source hardware” mantra, allowing anyone or any company to potentially contribute to the existing components and functionality, made available to everybody. Users will be able to customize their phones with the parts they want from the best companies in each category.
We live in a throw-away culture. The slightest blemish on our new toy and we are already yearning for a newer model. Back in the day, there were repair men who would fix your appliances until they are absolutely unfixable and or obsolete.. Nowadays, if your TV breaks, you simply buy a new one. Coffee maker breaks. Who cares? Buy a new one. The pros of making cheap good coult in fact be a con.
Google's Project Ara could change all of that by taking a big stride towards sustainable smartphones.
P.S. The Verge created a great video introducing Project Ara. Check it out.