Google’s Project Ara, the modular smartphone which can be taken apart by the owner and upgraded piece by piece, will be free to 100 lucky customers who have volunteered to test early versions of the handset.
As Glass has proved, Google isn’t afraid of experimenting in public - and Project Ara will be no exception. Over 90,000 people applied to become “scouts” for the new phone, but just 100 have been selected by Google gain free, early access to the revolutionary device.
Google says it will work with the scouts to refine Ara before a wider release in March 2015, slightly later than the January launch originally proposed by Google.
What makes Project Ara unique is now each component can be swapped out and upgraded as the owner sees fit. Want a better camera? Simply remove a feature you use less (the GPS chip for example) and instal a larger and more powerful camera. Want amazing battery life? Remove some components and install a larger battery.
More than that, users can even request the type of material the components of their Ara phone are made from.
Much like Glass, Project Ara is a long way from being a mainstream product, but if nothing else it shows Google isn’t afraid of innovating - and letting fans help can only be a bonus.