Project Ara has gone live, the first public demonstration of a working prototype took place on May 29, 2015 at the Google I/O conference. The day that changed how we connect electronics together.
Project Ara Lead Engineer Rafa Camargo took the helm for the demonstration, happily hands on with Project Ara, snapping into place all of the modules that make a phone a phone. Startup time and operation seemed just like any other phone. Taking a picture of an audience with a phone, now that’s pure Rafa. What makes Project Ara so special then? Its whats on under the surface that makes the difference.
A miniature tour de force Ara phones include such technological wizardry as electropermanent magnets that turn on and off without using power to help the modules snap into the endoskeleton smoothly, and securely. Wires have been replaced with inductive coupling and stitched together by ATAP’s Spiral 2 architecture, the secret to Ara’s lack of wires and revolutionary flexibility. Rafa describes the Spiral as the first Unipro Switch Network, others have called it a universal connector but here at Highpants we think of it as a living electronic fabric that replaces the traces.
Google is staying tight lipped regarding an official release date but the test-drive program in Puerto Rico looks very possible for later this year. Is Google about to start another technology revolution? Does ATAP really have a direct feed to DARPA? Can someone invent a new ringtone, and make everyone use it simultaneously?