Google’s Project Ara promises a new kind of mobile computing, one that would put end-users in charge as they would be able to swap different phone modules as they please. If, for instance, they don’t like the camera, they will be able to replace it with a better one. The same goes for the processor, the amount of RAM, screen and so on.
During Engadget’s Engage conference, we’ve learned that the company is also looking to include the mHealth modules to the mix, one of which would be used to track users’ blood oxygen levels.
At the stage was Paul Eremenko, head of Google’s Project Ara, fiddling with a rough prototype of the Ara phone with such module. He said that the modular architecture of Google’s device could make it a repository for users’ health data, while holding a huge opportunity for accessing crowd sourced data patterns.
The first Project Ara devices won’t be released before 2015 and in the meantime, some smartphones are already offering various mHealth features. Beyond activity tracking, some Samsung phones include a built-in heart rate monitor, while the company’s flagship phablet, Galaxy Note 4, also has a UV sensor.