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Google's Innovative Approach to Hardware

April 29, 2014 | Telepresence Options

project-ara-400

Story and images by James Alan Miller / BizTech

With the development of modular smartphone technology as well as video conferencing and wearable products, it's clear Google does way more than search.

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google as Ph.D. students at Stanford University 18 years ago, no one would have guessed that their original take on search engines would turn their research project into one of the most valuable technology companies in the world.

Google's been more than just a search engine for years, of course. But its eagerness to constantly explore new technologies and market opportunities is as strong as ever.

Take Project Ara, for example. Acquired with Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility, Project Ara is an attempt to create a modular smartphone. The technology would allow people to mix and match hardware modules -- just like Lego bricks -- to create their very own customized smartphone. Simply snap the different pieces onto a frame called an "endo" (short for endoskeleton), and you're ready to go make phone calls, access the Internet, watch videos, snap pictures and more.

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