Google has collaborated with technology design firm Lapka to work on a concept product line for their modular smartphone venture, Project Ara, bringing their unique concept of modern, style-conscious healthcare accessories to Google’s new modular hardware ecosystem.
The resulting seven modules are based on existing Lapka products like the PEM environment monitor and the BAM breathalyser. The visual design of the modules are inspired by high-end designer sneakers with the most unique combinations of materials and textures, leading to some original and eye catching designs. All seven modules attach to the modular endoskeleton of the Ara, transforming the smartphone into a powerful quantifying tool to monitor both personal physiology and the nature and quality of the immediate environment.
Components include the light sensor which would hold a UV sensor and LUX sensor, advising the user on skin and eye protection, and an air quality monitor. The EKG component would monitor the user's heart’s electrical activity, checking on the health of the heart and potentially finding out the cause of unexplained chest pains.
The idea of the modular approach stemmed from a need to replace individual parts of a smartphone. Dave Hakkens, who was approached by Google to work on the Ara Project, came up with the idea for the modular system after wanting to replace a broken camera part, resulting in Phonebloks. Google's collaboration with Lapka is an interesting concept that brings new functionality to the smartphone through interchangeable hardware.