It seems Google’s ambitious DIY modular Project Ara has been delayed after all. As on Thursday, Project Ara’s Twitter account that has been rather inactive for a while sent out Tweets suggesting change in plans, or to paraphrase it in Google’s own words, Project Ara has had a ‘market pilot re-route’.
Hence, going by the tweets, it seems the Puerto Rico launch is not happening at least for now. As the tweets insist that the project has not been canceled, as the team is just ‘re-calculating’.
To recall, Project Ara came into existence when ATAP (Advanced Technologies and Products) was still a part of Motorola Mobility. The Mountain View giant sold off its Motorola smartphone business in 2014, though retained ATAP, along with Project Ara.
It essentially allows owners to create devices using an assortment of products like batteries, screens, cameras and other components. Google earlier said there are many reasons they chose Puerto Rico as the Market Pilot launch location. The most important being the fact that the University of Puerto Rico which has 11 campuses – have agreed upon the ATAP Multi-University Research Agreement (MURA). As this allows Google to work with individual labs to research and support Project Ara along with future projects that are a part of ATAP.
Had the Puerto Rico launch happened, it would have seen Google joining hands with local carriers OpenMobile and Claro to launch these devices. Though there’s still a lot to look forward to as this announcement does not mean ‘goodbye Puerto Rico’, and more updates on Puerto Rico’s current situation will be coming next week.
The announcement could also be a result of Google’s recent restructuring, which makes it a part of the parent holding Alphabet. With the move, Google is now headed by Sunder Pichai as Larry Page will now play the top man at Alphabet while Sergey Brin will be acting as president of the newly formed entity. Hence, a lot of Google ‘s side projects, for instance Calacio will now be a part of the newly formed entity Alphabet, along with Goolge Inc., while some like Niantic are still entirely on their own.