T3’s Jeff Par­sons sees a mod­u­lar fu­ture

Australian T3 - - RADAR -

Mod­u­lar smart­phone tech­nol­ogy is a won­der­ful idea in the­ory; I think we’d all want less wastage and the abil­ity to cus­tomise a de­vice that we look at, on av­er­age, 150 times a day. Is it enough to go main­stream though?

Mak­ing the mod­ules and plat­form in stan­dard­ised sizes means that, un­like with PCs, which have been “mod­u­lar” for years, Ara is easy for pun­ters to un­der­stand.

That’s only half the so­lu­tion, though. Those same pun­ters buy Ap­ple, Sam­sung or HTC phones be­cause of the logo on the front and the look of the phone. If Ara mod­ules are go­ing to be made largely by lesser known brands, and the phones are go­ing to re­sem­ble Nokia Lu­mias ren­dered in kitchen tiles, that could be a prob­lem.

Like Rasp­berry Pi and cus­tom PCs, Ara will cer­tainly be pop­u­lar with a se­lect com­mu­nity, but the sad truth is that it’ll like take big-name in­volve­ment – Canon cam­era mod­ules, Qual­comm and Nvidia chips – to get the wider pub­lic to buy into a mod­u­lar fu­ture.

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