This past week, Google has discontinued Project Ara. Project Ara was Google’s failed attempt at building a modular smartphone. Ara became a roaring sensation among tech watchers. Ara would have allowed users to upgrade and swap components, by means of exchanging the particular parts which seemed as though they would snap in place.
The shit down came as a surprise to everyone, when earlier Google had announced that developer kits were shipping late 2016, and commercial products would be shipped sometime in 2017. Sources claimed that the shutdown is due to a streamlining of the hardware production coming from Google.
Ara came with its own trials and tribulations, as well. The initial unveiling was delayed, as well as some of the phones features ending up being too difficult to produce, and being cut from the project. Project Ara also lost its director a year ago.
Now, because of the Ara cancelation, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group has come into question. Creator Regina Dugan left Google for Facebook a few weeks before the May announcement that Ara was cancelled.
When Dugan was involved it was said to be a cross between the conventional development of today, and Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory X. X is responsible for self-driving cars, and Loon Wi-Fi balloons. X is also facing some pressure to produce a more marketable product. The Ara shutdown is now being compared to another X project that shut down early; Google Glass. Glass was supposed to be the rethinking of mobile computing. A limited commercial release caused a shut down two years later.
With these events in mind, it seems that Google’s once fearless persona has dwindled a bit, taking the cautious route more so than not these days.
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