Google to ship Dev Kits of Project Ara soon

Modular Phones are now one step closer

Google to ship Dev Kits of Project Ara soon  

When the "Phonebloks" concept was announced in September of last year it was met with equal praise and ridicule, with many praising the concept for trying to address the throwaway nature of the design of the many mobile phones on the market today and others claiming that such a device could be created affordably or in a reasonable size/form factor.

In essence the concept is simple, create a mobile phone which can have its parts easily replaced or upgraded when the user desires, so that merely a single component is thrown away instead of an entire phone and that users will be able to in theory create a phone that meets their own specifications. A video describing the concept more fully has been added below.

 

Google had taken the Phonebloks concept and created Project Ara, the world first modular phone, and will soon be releasing devkits to people and companies interested in creating modules for this phone. With a consumer version of the product expected to be coming sometime in 2015 for a the price of around $50.

 Google to ship Dev Kits of Project Ara soon  Google to ship Dev Kits of Project Ara soon  

Those interested in receiving one of the first wave of these devices will have to apply to Google for the privilege by June 17th, with a concept for a module and any relevant experience the developer has to this project. The second round of applications will then finish one month later on the 17th of August, so if you are interested in applying you better get started on a concept. You can apply for a developer kit here.

Google to ship Dev Kits of Project Ara soon  Google to ship Dev Kits of Project Ara soon  Google to ship Dev Kits of Project Ara soon  Google to ship Dev Kits of Project Ara soon  

 

The Specifications of the developer kit will differ depending on which of the 3 available dev boards you get, and of course the revision of the devboard the user gets, as it is expected to change over time. So far this is what we know.

 

"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. Since we only have limited quantities of developer hardware, we ask that you please tell us about how you plan to use it! We anticipate having a second release of developer hardware around the v0.20 MDK (and ASICs instead of FPGAs for UniPro network processing, as well as multiple APs) in Fall 2014."

 

It will be interesting to see this products design mature an it approaches release, I for one look forward to having as much flexibility in part selection in my mobile phone as is currently on offer to desktop PCs and being able to easily replace aging or broken parts of my phone with shiny new ones, without having to but an entire new handset.

If you wish to discuss Project Ara further, please head over to the OC3D Forums.

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Most Recent Comments

15-07-2014, 10:46:03

Feronix
10 Months ago a YouTube video by Dave Hakkens went completely viral, and right now it is sat at a staggering 20.5 million views. Since then most people have forgotten about this video and have gone back to buying pre-built devices from major brands such as HTC, Samsung or Apple. Except for Google, the company that looked into the concept that many people said to be impossible. The codename for this project: Ara.

If you're still a bit clueless as to what I'm talking about, allow me to refresh your memory with said video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDAw7vW7H0c

Now, Google has announced that they will start shipping out developer kits at the end of July. There are only a limited amount of kits and those interested must apply to Google. They will then review the applications and decide whether you will be sent a devkit or not.

http://www.projectara.com/dev-board-form

Quote:
Here is a summary of what to expect after you submit this form:

1) Applications will be reviewed in stages; the current review period ends on July 17, 2014, 11:59pm PDT.

2) The next review period will start on July 18 and end on August 17, 2014.

3) You will receive a notification via email 1 week after the review period ends.

4) If approved, dev boards will be shipped to you starting in late July, 2014.

5) Documentation for the dev boards is available at projectara.com/dev-boards/, you may also email ara-dev@google.com for additional support requests.
There are 3 different devboards available, with varying hardware configurations.

Quote:
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. Since we only have limited quantities of developer hardware, we ask that you please tell us about how you plan to use it! We anticipate having a second release of developer hardware around the v0.20 MDK (and ASICs instead of FPGAs for UniPro network processing, as well as multiple APs) in Fall 2014.
http://ic.tweakimg.net/ext/i/1393495987.png

http://ic.tweakimg.net/ext/i/1396962550.jpeg

http://ic.tweakimg.net/ext/i/1396962594.jpeg

http://ic.tweakimg.net/ext/i/1396962626.jpeg

http://ic.tweakimg.net/ext/i/1396962651.jpeg

http://ic.tweakimg.net/ext/i/1396962680.jpeg

http://ic.tweakimg.net/ext/i/1396962738.jpeg

The developers expect to release version 0.2 of the Module Developers Kit near the end of the year. At that point they will also release devkits based on the new MDK. The first consumer release, the Gray Phone, is set to release in early 2015 for around $50 (USD).

The Gray Phone will run Android and exist out of a base frame into which the user can install their own components using a magnetic solution. The hardware will communicate via UniPro.

http://ic.tweakimg.net/ext/i/imageno...397626626.jpeg

Sources
http://www.projectara.com/dev-boards/
Tweakers.netQuote

15-07-2014, 10:50:54

maniac
noice!Quote

15-07-2014, 10:52:11

Dicehunter
Awesome news story !

I only have 1 thing to say though -

https://jenniferrepurposed.files.wor...05/smeagol.jpgQuote

15-07-2014, 11:23:06

CreatiXx
been following this from the beginning,lovely idea and concept. Truly hope it works out, but i wonder. If this becomes a HUUGE succes. Will this mean the end of other Phone company's since the idea is that you wont need a new phone cause you can update the blocks?Quote

15-07-2014, 11:33:42

Feronix
Quote:
Originally Posted by CreatiXx View Post
been following this from the beginning,lovely idea and concept. Truly hope it works out, but i wonder. If this becomes a HUUGE succes. Will this mean the end of other Phone company's since the idea is that you wont need a new phone cause you can update the blocks?
Well, the idea of the guy who made the Phonebloks video was that manufacturers can shift their focus to making those components, such as Sony cameras, Samsung screens, etc.

There will always be people that don't want to go through the process of building, or even spending the time of looking into building, their own phones and will continue to buy pre-built devices.

Kind of how the mainstream market people still tend to buy high-end devices from Samsung or HTC while there are Chinese brands out there (Oppo, Xiaomi, OnePlus, etc) that offer the same spec for half the price, or the Nokia Lumia line-up which runs WP8.1 instead of Android, simply because people don't know what they're buying and/or don't like change (just prefer to stick to what they know best).Quote

15-07-2014, 11:34:12

Dicehunter
Quote:
Originally Posted by CreatiXx View Post
been following this from the beginning,lovely idea and concept. Truly hope it works out, but i wonder. If this becomes a HUUGE succes. Will this mean the end of other Phone company's since the idea is that you wont need a new phone cause you can update the blocks?
The phone companies will find a way to patent something somewhere and make something awesome exclusive to them at rip off pricesQuote

15-07-2014, 12:02:41

WYP
Reworked for the Front Page and Shared on FB.

Thanks to Feronix for finding this delicious piece of news . I will be following this with interest.Quote

15-07-2014, 12:05:16

RamboOC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watsyerproblem View Post
Reworked for the Front Page and Shared on FB.

Thanks to Feronix for finding this delicious piece of news . I will be following this with interest.
Liked would be awesome if I got a dev kit Quote

15-07-2014, 12:05:40

MadShadow
This is awesome I need this now!Quote
Reply
x

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