If you ask Paul Eremenko, head of Google’s Project Ara, what excites him the most about the experimental modular phone, he’ll tell you it’s the opportunity for developing life-changing personal technologies.
During Engadget’s Engage conference, the former deputy director of DARPA opened up about the projects within Ara he’s most passionate about, including health care tech. Fiddling with a rough prototype of the Ara phone, he attached a square module to the top of the phone. A dot of red light immediately flared up on the attachment, and Eremenko instructed his interviewer Brad Molen to press his finger to the module.
The module is a prototype of a pulse oximeter, which measures oxygen content in the blood. Eremenko thinks that devices like Ara could be a central hub for small medical devices like the pulse oximeter, and the phone itself a repository for your health data. He also thinks that Project Ara holds a huge opportunity for accessing crowd sourced data patterns.
Already mobile phones hold an inordinate amount of information about their owners. But with devices like the oximeter and other health data-collecting sensors in the works, it’s only a matter of time before a mobile phone holds highly detailed medical histories — a combination of your diet, workout regimen, and doctor’s visits.
But there’s still another year’s worth of development to do before we can see a meaningful rollout of project Ara. Details on when consumers will be able to get their hands on this device are scant, though Eremenko said, “we do intend to do a consumer pilot later in 2015.” He says Google will make an announcement about the actual release date at the company’s Project Ara developer conference in January.
Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google ... All Google news »