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Google's Project Ara Phone Falls Apart When Dropped; Release Pushed To 2016

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While the fact that Project Ara's release date has been pushed back to 2016 isn't very new (at least as of this afternoon), we might now have a better idea why: it seems that the phone more or less falls apart when dropped.

Announced earlier this year, Project Ara's modular smartphone is designed to let users switch out components, or, as their website explains:

"The user can populate the endo with 'modules,' the building blocks that make up the vast majority of the phone's functionality and features. The modules can be easily and safely inserted and removed at any time, even while the device is powered on ... ultimately, customers will be able to buy a complete Ara phone, configure one from scratch, or buy additional modules[.]"

This vision is facing some minor difficulties: namely, that the very thing that is supposed to hold these components together simply isn't working.

The main problem seems to be the implementation of electropermanent magnets, which, for all intents and purposes, are supposed to be pretty strong. The typical electropermanent magnet is made made up of both an electromagnet and a dual-material permanent magnet, which is excellent for a self-constructed object.

However, in the case of Project Ara, not so much: the electropermanent magnets used to detach and attach components simply don't keep the hardware together if the smartphone is dropped, which the social media team for Project Ara admitted via tweet.

Most likely, the delay in the modular smartphone's release has to do with finding a stronger substitute than these self-same magnets. Whatever that material will turn out to be, Project Ara promises that, above all, it'll be "signature":

Via: The Verge

Photo: Maurizio Pesce | Flickr

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