What if hardware were more like software? Interesting concept, and it’s really the best way we know to describe Google ARA. By creating a modular hardware platform for consumers, Google hopes we’ll get the phone we want, along with the ability to change that device when we like. When you stop to consider the possibilities, it’s a bold new world.

The scope is massive, but the idea is simple: give people the foundation, and let them build. The core of an ARA device is the “endo”, which is slang for “endoskeleton”. It’s the skeleton of your ARA device, and from there you can add all the brains or muscle you like. The little fobs are swappable and interchangeable, so you can update only the parts of a device you want/need to. You can also create any device you want, with the specs you want — when you want.

ARA is a neat idea, and meant to allow innovators to do their thing. Let’s say you’re really into music, and you want a phone to reflect that. Maybe Beats creates a little module which has their algorithm. You can have that, along with a really amazing cellular module to make sure your streaming music never skips a beat.


Some of us are local storage hogs, and keeping files in the cloud can be bothersome. Just buy some storage modules, and keep all you like on your device. Want to be excellent at mobile photography? Great, buy the best camera available for the ARA. The possibilities are nearly endless. Modules, like apps, can be provided by whoever wants to build one.

There will be three “endos” available at launch to accommodate the one thing we can’t pack into any package — screen size. Those will run about $15-20 apiece, and the modules will of course be priced by whoever makes them. In a time where we have begun wondering where the monolith phone can go next, ARA is deconstructing it and building it from the ground up. Or, rather, we’re building it.

Source: Project ARA