Google announced in July that it would begin distributing its Project Ara MDK to developers, so they could get started developing modules for the phone. What we didn’t know was how regular consumers would acquire new modules for their device once they decided to upgrade their smartphone.
According to a Q&A session with Paul Eremenko, head of Project Ara at Google, the company plans to create a store where anyone can create and sell Ara modules. In the same vein, all modules will be rated and reviewed by users, and users will be able to view the best rated modules in the store.
“Anybody can create a module per the specifications of the developer’s kit and put it in the Ara module marketplace, which is analogous to the Google Play Store, and sell directly to consumers,” PC World quotes Eremenko as saying while visiting Purdue University.
Project Ara is still very much in the development stages and Eremenko says Google still has two more prototypes to make before it goes to market with a pilot, which will be in 2015. However, the goal is to ultimately reduce the amount of time it takes to develop, build, and release a new smartphone by making all of the components hot-swappable. With Ara, users can upgrade or switch out everything except for the display and the CPU without even turning the phone off.
In September, Giulio Minott of Phonebloks, a collaborative partner of Project Ara, revealed that a prototype would be unveiled in December and that Ara devices would run on a modified version of Android Lollipop. This will be developed in collaboration with Linaro.