Project Ara: stop making us dream your dream, Google

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Julia Love for Reuters:

Alphabet Inc’s Google has suspended Project Ara, its ambitious effort to build what is known as a modular smartphone with interchangeable components, as part of a broader push to streamline the company’s hardware efforts, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

It’s nice to be part of a dream, but not when that dream implies time, money and effort that developers and makers all over the world spend into Google aspirational projects.

Google’s Project Ara was one of those, and although the idea was intriguing, the modular phone is the solution to a problem we don’t really have. Vlad Savov expressed it well a few months ago, and the efforts by other makers such LG (LG G5 & Friends), Lenovo (Moto Z & MotoMods) or Fairphone (with its Fairphone 2) show this kind of market is not convincing much people.

The difference is clear: LG and Lenovo just make the bet and dream the dream by themselves. Google dreams with us, and as Eduardo Archanco said, that is not always fair. Not at least for those who are much more than mere spectators.

Dual-camera smartphones are just the beginning

Vlad Savov reflects on the new trend that both LG and Huawei have established with their new dual-camera systems. Since smartphones are are thinner and thinner and the integration of better sensors and lenses is becoming quite complex, it seems the solution is to combine (at least) two of them.

The result seems promising on both phones, but if rumors are correct we’ll see a final confirmation of this trend with the future iPhone 7 Plus:

Rumors about Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus have included the suggestion that it would include a dual-camera system much like Huawei’s. If that scenario comes to pass, Apple’s substantial influence will serve to accelerate the trend and stimulate others to try it, too. But even without the iPhone’s endorsement, the addition of extra cameras is already proving itself valuable to the user

Indeed. The battle for the resolution or the pixel size could soon be forgotten. Maybe we’re starting to watch the battle for multi-sensor smartphones. An idea that isn’t new at all:

Light L16: multiple images from different lenses combine to give wider dynamic and focal range than ...

Interesting, don’t you think?