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Google Project Ara Design Will Use Electro-Permanent Magnets To Lock In Modules 62

MojoKid writes: "Google's Project Ara, an effort to develop a modular smartphone platform, sounded at first as much like vaporware, but Google is actually making it happen. In an upbeat video, Dave Hakkens (the guy who created the Phonebloks design that appears to be the conceptual basis for Project Ara) visited the Google campus to see what progress is being made on the project. The teams working on Project Ara have figured out a key solution to one of the first problems they encountered, which was how to keep all the modules stuck together. They decided to use electro-permanent magnets. In terms of design, they've decided not to cover up the modules, instead making their very modularity part of the aesthetic appeal. 3D Systems is involved on campus, as they're delivering the 3D printing technology to make covers for the modules."

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Google Project Ara Design Will Use Electro-Permanent Magnets To Lock In Modules

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  • Re:Pie in the sky (Score:5, Informative)

    by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <mindstalker@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Friday April 04, 2014 @04:54PM (#46664893) Journal

    Its electro permanent. Meaning it requires a power to connect and to disconnect, but no power to remain connected.

  • Re:Pie in the sky (Score:5, Informative)

    by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday April 04, 2014 @05:17PM (#46665025)

    Because a mechanical connector is too good for them and we're all anxious for new ways to waste battery power and wipe our mag stripes.

    No power is required to maintain the connection. Did you know that the Internet has search engines? Google for "electro-permanent magnet" and the first link will be this Wikipedia page [].

  • by Anaerin ( 905998 ) on Friday April 04, 2014 @05:22PM (#46665053)
    Okay, here's the deal. You want a phone, so you buy a base unit (that probably has the screen). Once you've done that, you choose what CPU (Single-core? Dual-core? Quad-core? Octa-core?) you want, how much RAM (512MB? 1GB? 2GB?), how much storage (16GB? 32GB? 64GB?), what kind of camera (None, 2MP, 4MP, 16MP with telescopic zoom lens?), Location system (Cell Tower Only? A-GPS? GLONASS + GPS + Compass?), Radios (Bluetooth? Wifi (a? n?), cellular radio (None? CDMA? GSM/Edge? UMTS? LTE?), card reader, and battery you want.

    Want to update at a later time? Not a problem! Swap out that tired old dual-core ARMv7 for the latest dohexa-core 64-bit ARMv11! Running out of RAM too often? Throw another 2GB in there. Find you're taking more pictures than you thought? Swap out the basic 4MP shooter for a 28MP beast! Want to do work with 3D mapping? Add a second camera!

    The idea is to make phones as modular as (or even more so than) a home PC.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner