Date
23 January 2017
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google I/O Annual Developers Conference in Mountain View, California last week. Photo: Bloomberg
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google I/O Annual Developers Conference in Mountain View, California last week. Photo: Bloomberg

Google’s modular phones set for launch next year

Google plans to start selling phones with modular, replaceable parts next year, under the so-called Project Ara that aims to make smartphones’ hardware almost as customizable as their apps.

The US tech giant on Friday showed how different parts could be snapped onto the back of a phone, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Modules that can be added include high-powered camera lenses, speakers, a glucometer for diabetes patients or a holder for breath mints, according to the report. 

Project Ara has had a rocky history after it began it 2013 under Motorola, then owned by Google.

It later moved into Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, a lab that aims to bring futuristic technologies to market.

A launch was planned for 2015, but the deadline was not met.

 

The Ara team made changes to the phone, including installing more technology in the device’s base to clear room for more modules, the Journal cited a Google spokeswoman as saying Friday.

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