News by Andrew Kameka on Friday April 04, 2014.
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There may still be some people out there unsure of how magnets work, but Google's Project Ara device will go one step further by relying on electro-permanent magnets to keep the smartphone's modules in place. As Project Ara is a concept relying on interchangeable modules sliding into a frame and connecting to make smartphones more easily upgradable and customizable, it's important to make sure those pieces are secure. A video released by the Phonebloks team showcases how the magnets use an electrical charge to get a firm grip on components. When someone decides to replace a component, a controller on the device can send another charge to disable the magnetic link and remove that piece.
The 3-minute video also shows bits and pieces of what's going on at Project Ara, though some of the information is already known. However, it's nice to actually see some things put into practice, like the way that 3DSystems is printing customizable pieces for different modules. I'm not going to get a 3D skull on the back of my phone, but I've already decided I will set a Lego pattern when I grab my Ara device. You can also get a very brief look at an app in development to personalize their device in the video below.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.