Shalom Life | November 14, 2014

Did You Know That Google's First Customizable Smartphone Was Built With Israeli Tech?

Project Ara, a modular smartphone, is based on tech developed by an Israeli startup called Modu

By: Rachel Dinh, NoCamels

Published: November 11th, 2014 in Business » Israel

Did You Know That Google's First Customizable Smartphone Was Built With Israeli Tech?

The tech community has been buzzing with anticipation ahead of the release of Google’s hottest new venture: Project Ara, a smartphone with customizable hardware. Describing itself as the smartphone “designed exclusively for 6 billion people,” Project Ara is still in it’s early stages, but already has tech buffs the world over excited about the concept. What few know, however, is that Project Ara’s modular smartphone is based on failed Israeli technology.

In 2008, an Israeli startup called Modu developed the first modular smartphones that fit into electronic jackets to become cameras, fitness trackers, music players, etc. The company failed to gain traction in part because of its clunky design, and the limited availability of modules, resulting in the folding of the company soon after it launched. After Modu failed, Google bought its intellectual property patents and is now using this unique Israeli technology to create Project Ara – its very own version of a smartphone with customizable hardware.

Making smartphones personal, once and for all

The Ara smartphone, named after tech guru Ara Knaian, has a number of interchangeable segments called modules that snap into place, allowing users to customize their phone according to their personal needs. While the Project Ara team will design necessary components like screens and hard drives packed into small, medium and large frames, they are releasing the Module Development Kit to third part developers who are interested in actively creating their own unique modules for the project.

Project Ara, Google’s First Completely Customizable Smartphone, Built With Israeli Tech

Project Ara

Users can buy modules including sensors (for example, blood sugar monitors), additional storage, more battery capacity, better speakers, and cameras that are snapped into place on the phone with electro-permanent magnets. Even things like pulse oximeter modules that test your blood oxygen levels and incense burners are on the table of options. The real beauty of this concept lies in the infinite possibilities for customization.

This article was first published on NoCamels - Israeli Innovation News and was re-posted with permission. To continue reading this article on the site, click here.

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