project-ara-teaserWhen Project Ara was first announced, it was supposed to be the phone aimed at the enthusiast crowd who might enjoy putting together a phone as they would a PC. The phone was supposed to be completely modular where anything and everything could be swapped out, but that has since changed as Google has scaled it back quite a bit.

Speaking to CNET, Project Ara’s lead engineer Rafa Camargo reveals that is no longer the case and that the phone’s core components will be pretty much fixed. According to Camargo, “When we did our user studies, what we found is that most users don’t care about modularizing the core functions. They expect them all to be there, to always work, and to be consistent. Our initial prototype was modularizing everything…just to find out users didn’t care.”

What this means is that Project Ara will still be shipped as a customizable phone, it’s just that not all of it will be customizable. The handset is expected to launch with four modules for users to choose from at the start: a speaker, camera, e-ink display, and an expanded memory module. It is expected that there will be more modules in the future.

Last we heard, Google was working with the likes of iHealth where medical modules would be offered to those who might have a need for them. We suppose at the end of the day, it just sounds like a more advanced and more modular version of the LG G5 and its “Friends” module, although that’s not exactly a bad thing since it makes it easier for users to get on board. Project Ara’s commercial release has been set for 2017.

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