Week 1 – The Platform(s)

Project Ara & Nokia X

So, this blog post is going to be the one where I communicate (that word has so much more meaning when doing the BCMS, jus’ sayin’. . . . ) to the world my chosen platforms/technologies to study throughout BCM112 in Semester 1 of 2014! YAY!!!!! XD

Project Ara and Nokia X.

I had the idea for Project Ara for a while, but last week’s lecture really helped push forward the idea of focusing on Project Ara in conjunction with Nokia X, a similarly aimed production from Finnish phone maker (and soon to be, new stallion in the Microsoft stable) Nokia.

For those of you who are not aware, Project Ara is an idea which was born out of the labs of Motorola, and is now the property of Google after the Moto-Google breakup of 2013 *sad face*.

Project Ara is essentially one of the greatest innovations in the smartphone industry in a long time. It promises customisation, low prices, power, environmental friendliness, a challenger who will truly wrestle key market share away from Apple in the smartphone war, and the ability for the whole world to experience media convergence – and accelerate it like never before.

The main idea behind Project Ara is modularity. Instead of buying a smartphone every 12-24 months, one smartphone is bought and over time new modules are swapped in and out of the phone for enhanced customisation and access to technology at cheaper prices. This is a prime example of converging media and its effects will be far reaching. A cheap smartphone, which can have powerful technology such as fast, heavy processors and RAM at the expense of a beautiful design, ridiculously good camera or gimmicky, marketing-department-designed features. People can have high powered devices and produce and consume heavier content the web now contains, with the starting price reportedly aimed at $50 (Rodriguez, 2014) for the base component, this could be a serious success in not only the developing world but the über commercialised West.
All in all, what this means, is that the convergence of media can spread to the developing world, allowing for far greater input and a truly more connected world.

Taking a different approach but reaching for the same goal is Nokia – Their “Nokia X” device is an evolution of the entry level smartphone and allows for Media convergence to occur in the developing world also. Low level specs, with the option to pay extra for a higher powered device, as well as an attractive design, with Dual Sim support and according to a Nokia promotional video (Nokia2014) an €89 unlocked entry price to boot, it is clear that this Android powered conglomerate of tech and code will go after the gigantic markets of China and India in particular. Three models will exist ranging 4 to 5inch screens with access to Android apps and various social networks such as Skype and Facebook, plus the addition of Nokia MixRadio and up to 5MP cameras. Based on this it is clear that these devices are designed to allow the developing world to take part in the ever changing/expanding/ converging media landscape.

References:

Rodriguez, S 2014, ‘Google’s Project Ara wants to make $50 customisable smartphones by 2015’, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 February, viewed 17 March, <http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/googles-project-ara-wants-to-make-50-customisable-smartphones-by-2015-20140228-33ot8.html>

2014, Nokia X Products, Nokia, viewed 17 March 2014, <http://www.nokia.com/global/products/nokia-x/>

Nokia 2014, First hands-on with the Nokia X family, online video, 24 February 2014, Nokia, viewed 17 March 2014, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUCEN-XvC7g>

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