Project Ara has been very quiet this year, with the last we really heard from the Mountain View company being a “re-route” announced last year. The project was slated in early 2015 to be getting a market pilot in Puerto Rico, but that just didn’t happen. Everything seemed to be on track when Regina Dugan and co. were talking up the project during the Google ATAP event at I/O last year, but there haven’t been hardly any updates besides a new logo and a video look inside the group since.
Now, some new questions on Google Opinion Rewards seem to be polling the public on how much it might be willing to pay for Project Ara modules…
At first glance, these questions don’t seem to make much sense:
“Would you be wiling to pay more money for a phone that after 6 months, gets the ability to become a mobile wallet (pay with your phone) without you having to do anything?”
“Would you be willing to pay more money for a phone that after 6 months runs faster?”
“Would you be willing to pay more money for a phone that after 6 months gets new privacy features like Gets (sic) new privacy features like fingerprint ID or guest mode?”
Google is asking how much you would pay for a phone that just spontaneously gets better after 6 months. That doesn’t make sense, does it? Maybe it does.
It’s possible that these questions are loosely referring to how much you would pay for a Project Ara module. While there’s nothing here that’s directly linking these to Ara (the project isn’t named), the concept of a phone being able to spontaneously add hardware features like a faster processor or a fingerprint sensor would only be feasible (especially for the price options that Google gives for these questions) with a modular system like Ara.
While they are clearly worded as “yes” or “no” questions, the Opinion Rewards app gives the user dollar amounts between $0 and $100 — also in line with what a module would probably cost.
Of course it’s possible that these have absolutely nothing to do with Ara, but Google is known for using its Opinion Rewards program to poll Android users on various projects and products — a couple of weeks ago Google was asking what Android N should be named. Check out the full gallery of questions below:
The future of Project Ara is uncertain at this point, but I think we’ll hear more at this year’s I/O conference set for just a couple months from now. We’ll be there live to keep you updated on what the company announces, and if you’re looking to go yourself (and haven’t already purchased your ticket or simply couldn’t afford one), you might want to head over and make an Android Experiment app.