Google still thinks people are interested in modular smartphones
Google appears to have learned little by the death of Project Ara, the failure of the LG G5, and the general apathy towards Motorola’s expensive Moto Mods. Patents have been discovered showing the company’s continued interest in modular phones, just when the rest of the industry is turning its attention to folding smartphones as the next big device design trend.
Patents are never absolute proof of a future product being
Another Google patent for a modular electronic device appears to closely resemble Project Ara, with multiple components slotting into a main body, each of which can be controlled individually and not only through the device’s operating system. These patents are variations on a theme, and indicate Google has not entirely given up on creating a modular phone. Project Ara was discontinued in 2016, but not before we saw early prototypes of the device, partners had been brought onboard to make the first products, and carriers chosen to sell the initial phones.
When Google discontinued Project Ara, it apparently intended to license the technology out to other companies, so all the hard work would not go to waste. Any discussions have not turned into any deals yet. Mobile technology moves quickly, and what was fresh in 2016, is archaic in 2019. These patents may show what’s possible with modular technology today, and could indicate Google is working to tempt its partners back into experimenting with modular hardware again.