Project Ara

Google wants to help others build smartphone parts

Google has announced that the first Project Ara developer conference will be held this April 15 and 16 in Mountain View. The events will also be streamed with an interactive question and answer set up, as admission to the event itself will be limited.

What they're going to do here is the really cool part. Project Ara is the continuation of Motorola's Lego-like modular phone design concept. Different modules can be built, and when pieced together you've created a custom smartphone. It's ambitious, to say the least.

To bring a concept like this closer to reality, you need people able and willing to design the custom modules. The Ara Module Developers’ Kit will be unvieled in April, and it will be the focus of the conference. Google says there will be detailed walkthroughs and feedback sessions, which sounds like an excellent way to get things started. The full conference agenda will be posted soon at http://projectara.com.

This sounds like a great way to make this exciting project come to life. My dreams of the Jerryfone have only just begun!

Source: +Google ATAP

 

Reader comments

Google holding Project Ara developer conference in April

27 Comments

They better make good use of those ex-Apple employees from Nest to help them make the Project Ara phones look good and function the way they want it to do. I don't trust them doing this alone.

Sweeeeetttt

I cant wait to be able to throw in the newest CPU/GPU into my phone every year

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The Jerryphone ...
I like it.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!
(ZeroLemon 7000mA battery and ZeroShock Case)

What I want are $600+++ smartohones to be a thing of the past!

I don't use, or acknowledge the word ""troll"".

I have a feeling this is going to be aimed at developing countries. Its too new/awesome not to offer it in developed countries (US/Europe) but its biggest value is to those that can buy a piece at a time at a fraction of a full-fledged flagship phone. They'll also be able to keep it for a longer period of time without having to buy a whole new one when the time comes to upgrade.

Hmm, something occurs to me, most people at a consumer level find assembling a PC daunting, will they be any more confident with a phone?

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If they can build a bear they can build a phone.

I'm sure if they are smart they will have stores or online tools you can use like motomaker style to help you after that upgrading will be super simple.

This is a dream concept for me, however...

This seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Sure, people of AC and PC builders it's right up our alley, but the minute grandpa upgrades his cpu and inserts it upside down, or folds a connector inserting the camera or (going to get real technical) attached the lead line from the antenna structure to the socket on the circuit board and breaks it off because he didn't center it he'll be in someone's store cussing up a storm.

You know damn well it will happen too.

Google knows not just tech hobbyists will want this, so obviously they will do their best to make the components foolproof to install. Think one shaped connector for the camera, one for the CPU, etc., so they can't be interchanged.

Man..... Now I'm depressed. I was looking forward to this sooo much.. And I was thrilled that moto was going to Lenovo.. but now finding out that Google owns project ara is a deal breaker. I cannot stand Google anymore, and was really excited for the prospects of getting one of these and installing Ubuntu or something else on it. Google will probably lock everything down and force me to use a bunch of their services I don't want just to install the drivers. Want to use that new camera? Just sign in with your Google+ account we made for you and spammed to advertisers...

Who said Google was going to lock it down? The Nexus and GPe devices have all been very developer-friendly. It's all of the other manufacturers you have to worry about (and carriers).

I think the most that would come of this is something similar to Legos, meaning just stacking parts rather than something more technical like building a PC. Which, building a PC isn't hard but I don't see manufactors making the huge investment to create something similar to how the "building a PC" market is

This is a really neat idea. Other companies should do this too, for people who rather have a different OS. I'm interested in getting one of these, when it actually becomes a real thing, of course.

These phones definitely scream, "put a case over me when your done". However, that's not so terrible. I suppose they could be designed with a backing still on top of the modules that we see. These could possibly be just to show the modularity without the cover on. But I can't tell.

I think a cover would be necessary anyway. I'm sure the modules will have to be pretty secure in their mounts to function properly, but I'd definitely put some sort of clip-on or slide-on cover over the whole back of the thing, something really thin like the Incipio feather case. This will protect the modules and make damn sure they don't come out or move while the phone is being used and moved around.

As an engineer, I think the design is great and a pretty simple one at that. I'd imagine the hardest part is going to be making every module work together interchangably and seamlessly.

I'd love a phone where I could remove the camera and pop in a battery or maybe an sdcard reader for some extra juice or media at work where cameras aren't allowed. As it stands my phone sits in the car all day and I use an old Zune for listening to music.