Google set to hold a developer conference for its modular smartphone platform, Project Ara, in April

Daniel Bader

February 26, 2014 5:07pm

Google is set to hold its first Ara Developers’ Conference in April at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

If you’ll recall back to the heady days of October, when Motorola and its Advanced Technology And Projects group was still a part of Google, the OEM announced Project Ara, platform for modular smartphones. The idea to be make available the separate components of a device for users to change and upgrade when they see fit, cutting costs, increasing customization and extending the life of the product.

When Google agreed to sell Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, it opted to keep ATAP in-house and independent, and they have since gone on to announce a separate project, Tango. But Ara is far from dead, and Google is holding its first Ara Developers’ Conference over two days, on April 15th and 16th. The first of three such conferences in 2014, this one will offer an alpha release of the Ara Module Developers’ Kit (MDK), a “free and open platform specification and reference implementation that contains everything you need to develop an Ara module.”

According to the official website, “This first version of the MDK relies on a prototype implementation of the Ara on-device network using the MIPI UniPro protocol implemented on FPGA and running over an LVDS physical layer. Subsequent versions will soon be built around a much more efficient and higher performance ASIC implementation of UniPro, running over a capacitive M-PHY physical layer.”

For non-developers, Google will offer a livestream of the keynote and developer-focused sessions.

  • spammenotdisqus

    Call me a skeptic but I don’t see modular phones catching on.

    • Samuel Gomez Recuero

      All will depend on implementation. You can opt to get the basic model with a super dupper processor and upgrade the camera display or batter later on. This will keep you initial cost low and you can upgrade the components as you see fit
      The ability to change the on board storage will be nice too.

      Even when some OEM offer mSD card support, not all programs run on the mSD cards. Leaving the extra space usefull only for photos and music or documents. And even then not all camera apps will save to the external memory card

  • xzqtor

    A modular phone will be very slow in overall speed compared to other phones…

    • TrainAss

      Not necessarily.

    • cs098

      Um aren’t custom built PCs some of the fastest computers?

    • Noah Roesler

      Nah, Project Ara is more like Project Christine

    • cs098

      Could be, but there is a the dev kit though.

  • MXH070

    The idea is good but reality will be very cruel to it.

  • Rawrrr

    This will be awesome! Changing specs/hardware as you see fit, just like my desktop.. Pure (geek) heaven

  • L Joel

    If its done under the nexus name.. It will succeed. NExus owners get it :)

  • Patrick Serrano

    Cool idea!

  • Graham Wilson

    Excellent idea. “Reduce” and “Reuse” come to smartphones, finally.

  • WireCAN

    Is this; in partnership with, a rip off of, or did they buy out, Phonebloks?

  • isThisPhoneblocks

    this is Phonebloks…