Those of you who were totally psyched by Google demonstration of project Ara, Google’s modular phone research, we have a good new for you. Google is going to start shipping the early developer version of the Ara boards, by the end of July. You can make a request for one by submitting an application. The first review of submitted applications will be held on 17 July. Google is planning to ship the boards out by July end.
Project Ara, originally a division of Motorola, was one of the things Google kept even after selling the handset division to Lenovo. This modular smartphone concept aims to make the concept of a phone more dynamic by allowing hardware level customization. You can slip in different modules, like a camera module, for example, thus giving you a chance to choose what features your phone has. The first working prototype, named Spiral One, was showcased at Google I/O 2014, where it managed to boot up into Android. This means that the hardware framework is basically working, and now it’s time for Google to throw Ara into the real world, so that it gets more acceptance, as well as ways to overcome the problems it is expected to face.
Google also announced the Ara Developer Prize Challenge, which will offer a $100,000 prize for the best new Ara module. Google will prioritize the requests made for the Ara boards on bases of technical experience and strength of the concept which the applicant puts forth.
According to the official portal, the hardware will have three components, including an application processor, a switch board “representative of the network switching functionality of the Ara endoskeleton”, and a general purpose endpoint.
The second application review process will begin on 18th July, and end on 17th August. Hardware based on the second MDK (Ara Module Development Kit) will arrive in November.
So, if you’re one of those who are looking forward to developing on Ara, then go file an application for one, as soon as you can.