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Larry Magid: Google Brings Back Modular Tech With Project Ara

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A sign outside Google headquarters in Mountain View. (David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

A sign outside Google headquarters in Mountain View. (David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— We’ve learned more about Google’s plans for a new customizable smartphone called Project Ara.  The company had initially announced the project in October.

It feels like a Back to the Future idea reminiscent of the old desktop PCs that were modular. You could add a modem or Ethernet connector to the desktop (believe it or not, they weren’t included back then).

Google’s plan is like a modular smartphone for the developing market. The basic phone would be for as little as $50. It might not have things like a camera, but if you wanted one, you’d be able to insert it. Maybe you’d like one camera instead of two and then you could add an extra battery. This is the idea of how this project operates.

Larry Magid: Google Brings Back Modular Tech With Project Ara<br />

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It could also involve some 3-D printing especially since this a developing world tech project. I read a Time Magazine article saying that it would be for places like Africa and Asia, but the concept could come to America. The possibilities really are near limitless.

The idea could catch on here. I used to build my own computers all the time. Maybe with modular smartphones people will be lured in by the promise of having a choice depending on what their options are.

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