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It looks like Google's modular Project Ara smartphone has some fresh competition. Circular Devices has been working on the Puzzlephone, a simpler take on Android phones that you can upgrade yourself. Instead of letting you replace things piece-by-piece, it divides parts into "the Brain" (core elec...

December 1st 2014 at 5:23pm 0 Comments
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Project Ara isn't the only modular phone to look forward to anymore: it now has a fledgling rival in Vsenn, a startup co-founded by a former Nokia Android X program manager... at least according to its website. The project's so new, all its details can fit in a splash page at this point, though it...

November 7th 2014 at 6:50am 0 Comments
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It's been just over a year since Google's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) division announced Project Ara, a full-scale effort to produce the world's very first modular smartphone. The team has been working hard and fast to get a unit on the market before the end of its two-year mission, an...

November 4th 2014 at 3:00pm 0 Comments
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Happy Halloween, everyone! Stay safe and have fun. Welcome to Barely Related, a conversational Friday column that presents the non-gaming news stories that we, the Joystiq staff, have been talking about over the past week. And no, we're not stopping our focus on industry and gaming news. Think of...

October 31st 2014 at 7:30pm 0 Comments
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You'd be forgiven for being skeptical of Google's Project Ara -- for all the prototypes and partnerships, actually spotting a working unit has been a gigantic challenge. You won't have to jump through hoops to see one after today, thankfully. The engineering team at NK Labs has shown Phonebloks a...

October 29th 2014 at 5:49pm 0 Comments
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Blocks first unveiled its modular smartwatch with a plan to use Android Wear, much as Project Ara smartphone will use a special version of Android. However, there has been a change of plans -- and it's good news if you're not of the Google persuasion. The team now says that it's using a version of...

October 15th 2014 at 2:34pm 0 Comments
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One of the biggest challenges behind Google's modular Project Ara phone platform has been getting processors to play nicely with the technology. How do you let someone swap out the very heart of their device as easily as they would a memory card? By creating a CPU for that very purpose, that's how...

August 23rd 2014 at 5:02pm 0 Comments
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Like clothes, children tend to outgrow bikes pretty quickly. But what if there was a way to buy one and have it convert to fit a growing kid? Well, that's just what designer Andreas Bhend has done with the Miilo bike. What starts has a simple scoot along option with no pedals can adapt to fit an o...

August 14th 2014 at 3:32pm 0 Comments
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As one of the Blocks smartwatch team reminded us today, modularity has played an integral role in modern computing. A desktop PC is only a collection of components, after all, which can swapped out and upgraded based on what you need from that particular machine (a process Razer hopes to simplify...

July 8th 2014 at 5:00pm 0 Comments
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At Samsung's "Voice of the Body" event today, the company announced SIMBAND, a modular reference platform for wearable health sensors that it hopes will inspire a new generation of fitness products. The prototype device you see above has a multitude of sensors built right into it, including an opt...

May 28th 2014 at 2:16pm 0 Comments
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Google's modular Project Ara smartphone is all about customization, but that creates a challenge: how are manufacturers supposed to build so many uncommon (and possibly unique) parts? The crew at 3D Systems is more than happy to tell you -- it just outlined the 3D printing techniques it's using to...

May 2nd 2014 at 10:53am 0 Comments