To quickly recap Google’s Project Ara is a completely new take on what a smartphone is. Google next year will launch a Modular phone which consists of small interchangeable modules (MOD’s). Each MOD will have a different purpose i.e. camera, identity, speakers and users will simply be able to change the modules at will and upgrade only the parts they want to upgrade.
Yesterday we also advised that Google are currently offering developers the chance to build their own Modules for when the Ara platform launches in 2015. To help in understanding and building the MOD’s correctly Google are giving away dev boards for developers to see, inspect and use to design their MOD’s.
“We’ve created developer hardware based on the v0.10 MDK to help with prototyping and development of modules for the Ara platform. There are three dev boards: an application processor (AP) board with a strawman TI OMAP 4460 AP and modified Linaro Android; a UniPro switch board representative of the network switching functionality of the Ara endoskeleton; and a general purpose endpoint board for developer-unique functionality that supports the tunneling of legacy DSI, I2C, I2S, SDIO, and GPIO protocols over UniPro”.
However the boards are limited in terms of the numbers they have available and also the dates for which they can be ordered. Currently Google are in the second cycle of dev board distribution and the window to order a board ends on August 17th (this Sunday). So if you did read our report yesterday and want to get hold of a board then you must register your interest this week to be in the current cycle for distribution
As the number of boards is limited Google are asking potential developers to briefly explain what type of MOD they intend to create and design. Priority will be given to “requests based on technical experience and the strength of your module concept”. In addition it is worth noting Google cannot ship the boards to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria.
Anyone out there with any good MOD ideas? Leave a comment with your suggestion and you never know. Someone may actually build it.