Project Ara Modular Smartphone Will Have Hot-Swappable Modules

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dwatterworth

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Dec 5, 2012
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Remember when phones had removable battery covers that would fly off along with the battery when the device was dropped? Now add each component to that. 'Today was a good day, I only had to rebuild my phone 6 times!'.

Love the idea, maybe some small lockable retention device is included?
 

zdaggs

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did this guy (Armasu) even read his own article or am I missing something. the first paragraph states the cpu is not swappable then he goes on to state in the second paragraph" If you need the highest-end mobile processor out there, for example, you can just buy that processor module and upgrade the handset with it".

the main reason I switch phones would be for the newer processors. I don't care about switching my wifi adapter. new ram or camera would be nice but my phone already lets me switch battery and storage.
 

Gunbuster

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I wonder how long the Project Ara dev team is going to milk their slick CG renders and dummy mock ups conveniently zoomed out so you cant see how terrible they look?

When this comes out (If it does) it will be running outdated components, come in way over price, and still be chunky as hell.
 

Augray37

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did this guy (Armasu) even read his own article or am I missing something. the first paragraph states the cpu is not swappable then he goes on to state in the second paragraph" If you need the highest-end mobile processor out there, for example, you can just buy that processor module and upgrade the handset with it".

the main reason I switch phones would be for the newer processors. I don't care about switching my wifi adapter. new ram or camera would be nice but my phone already lets me switch battery and storage.
+1 I realize people make mistakes but yikes.

And i wholeheartedly agree that the CPU is really the main thing i would care about swapping out, with the screen being a close second lol. Oh well, gotta start somewhere :p
 

MKBL

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zdaggs/Augray37: The write didn't say that CPU is not swappable, rather, not hot-swappable.

"the Ara platform will be able to hot-swap almost any component with the exception of the CPU and display."

This suggests that you may swap the processor module when the system power is off, so cold-swappable.
 
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I don't get how you can hot-swap memory. That makes zero sense.
 

coffeecoffee

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@dwatterworth Third party or OEM skins/covers can help, further more a device like this SHOULD definitely come with some sort of locking mechanism. (At least any competent engineer would include it).

We can only assume the writer made a mistake by using a poor example... he should of just used a camera/battery example...
 

MKBL

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Probably majority of Ara users will be forced to purchase phone cases, not just for protection, but also as a holding mechanism. This is a good news for case companies, if Ara will be a success, which I doubt.
 

icrf

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A previous update said Project Ara would use electro-permanent magnets to secure the modules. I have no idea how strong such a magnet is, but it's not simple friction holding the modules in place. It may indeed be more secure than plastic retaining clips of the past.
 

cbfelterbush

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Man, I think the majority of the commenting individuals need to read a bit more before they open up in the chat.

Not Hot-swappable, not not swappable. -CB
 
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But so does the author of this article. Explain to me how you can hot-swap memory (ram)? Or even storage (this isn't a server, it's unlikely to have several storage devices)? I understand that this device has a small back-up battery, so I get that you can hot-swap the battery.

Show me a single device in this world where you can hot-swap ram. I've heard of some (250 000$+) servers that can do a hot-add memory, but hot-swap? Never.
 

Augray37

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zdaggs/Augray37: The write didn't say that CPU is not swappable, rather, not hot-swappable.

"the Ara platform will be able to hot-swap almost any component with the exception of the CPU and display."

This suggests that you may swap the processor module when the system power is off, so cold-swappable.
Good call, my apologies. Has a "cold swappable" cpu for mobiles ever existed before this? Not saying i was right at all, but i took "hot swappable" to mean swappable in general, never thinking that it was even possible to swap out the CPU, hot or cold.
 

Ian Mahaney

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Besides having an upgradable CPU, I think the amount of adapters companies will (hopefully) make would be awesome! You wouldn't need extra expansion dongles and I imagine people would be able to turn it into a type of Arduino platform; utilizing the swappable component space for different ports and/or special sensors.
 

g00fysmiley

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it is an interesting concept, the swappable cpu is a must, as stated not hot swappable but doable. What would stop me from jumping onboard with this idea is the screen being set, with advancments it seems a few years back 720p was the bees knees, now 1080p is standard and we are moving beyond it in the high end. I understand that in theory one could buy a new platform and plug iun thier components keeping a backup screen/dock, but i would want some sort of guaruntee that the standard would last for several years so when i wanted to upgrade a screen my other components would still plug into it, otherwise unless it is reallycheap i can't see makign the investment.

my other concern is with the S5 and Sony phones other manifacturers are bound to follow suit with water proofing and water resistance, I can't see how one would effectivly make somethign like this waterprof outside of a aftermarket case, in some parts of the US and the world that is no big deal, in Florida where i live it rains most dayys and often out of nowhere. so any nonwaterproof or phone that I can't buy a reliable waterproof case for is out. (though I have a Nexus 5 now and am just tired of carrying aroudn emergency waterproofing devices (ziplock bags) in my pockets all the time
 

shadarlo

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The comments on this site have really gone downhill. People need to actually read the article, not skim it, before posting.

Also, to the person worried about resolution. Seriously? What resolution do you think is going to be "crucial" on a 5" phone that isn't already available now? Most people agree 1080p is plenty, some still prefer 720p for battery life reasons... while a small handful like 1440p and maybe, maybe some people will want a 4k screen in the next year.

So guess what, this phone will be perfect as you can buy whichever screen resolution you want. YOU choose. That's what makes this thing such an awesome concept.

Want a phone with an AWESOME camera but don't care much about anything else? You can build it. Others may not even want a camera but want a lot more battery space so they swap in an extra battery instead of the camera.

Or, even cooler, perhaps you're just about to head home but phone's almost dead. Take off that camera module and put on a battery module instead. Or you're in a spot with no reception... plop out the LTE module and put in another battery. Or swap a Verizon modem for an ATT modem if you have the money to keep both services active and one service is weak where you are.
 

icemunk

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Looks neat, but I skeptical; How much are they going to charge for these modular components; I have a feeling it's going to be pricey. Want the latest processor upgrade? $300. Want a 3GB of ram now? $200.
 

shadarlo

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They want this thing to sell... I think you don't understand how cheap most of these components actually are. Sure this will add some overhead on the components, plus retail markup.... but the main reason for this will be to get more people using Android and thus buying apps and using google search... which means the hardware doesn't have to be a huge profit center.

I'd imagine a top of the line CPU would be max of $100-150, the screen max of $150.

I also figure RAM will be built into the CPU module often.

The main benefits it swapable cameras, batteries, modems, fitness monitors, etc as needed and as improved.
 

fkr

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google says the base for this device should be $50 and then the modules will cost whatever the competitive market sets.

there used to be a small battery in the side of the case for hot-swapping modules.

As long as you have a CPU and a little bit of memory someplace you should be able to put the phone in a kind of standby and swap out anything you want. So since they stated they are using a modified version of android I suspect this is how it is going to work. Not true hot-swapping but a standby then swap modules then out of standby
 

Rosiak

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i read about this some years ago, and I think its a awesome idea. But think about it what smartphone manufacturer will share a device and most important why !?. The manufacturers could produce swappable hardware components but why share if you can force customers to buy it all from you. And i think HTC or NOKIA would not sell just the camera from they High end devices and if somehow they would jump on that train the price for a Camera-Modul will be astronomic.
Butt still there is hope. Maybe some not so known manufacturers will offer those devices.
I think it would be better to create exchangeable parts but not necessarily hot swap, there for we would need standard plugs like in a PC.
Due i still think it will not happen and if some smaller Manufacturers will do this. Look at a laptop, and pc( like the NEC ) its all hard mounted. As i said why make good devices if you can make profit, dont sell one sell one every 2 years.
 
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