Project Ara opens to pitches, dev kits to ship this month

Google Project Ara, the company’s modular phone has entered the next phase, with Google inviting pitches of ideas from developers, the best of which will get hold of the first dev boards.

In order to be in with a chance of getting hold of a Project Ara dev board, you need to send your vision of Ara’s future to Google through the project’s website.

Google will review the first round of applications after midnight on July 17, but the next wave of Project Ara pitches will begin the next day, closing a month later on August 17.

Google says the first dev board will be shipped to the ‘winners’ by the end of July, meaning developers can get started more-or-less straight away.

However, for the hobbyist tinkerer who had some fun with a Raspberry Pi last year, Google has asked applications to be restricted to “a designated technical lead who has experience with embedded boards.” That rules us out, then.

The Project Ara dev boards come in three bits. There’s the processor module, which uses a TI OMAP 4460 chipset, the same used in the 7-inch Kindle Fire and the aged Google Nexus.

Next up is the network module, and the last is the board that deals with output from these core elements. We’re oversimplifying these functions a bit, but you get the idea.

As a modular phone system of the future, many foresee Project Ara becoming where super high-end phones will develop. However, the core intention is a little different.

It’s an open source initiative designed to make developing within the mobile space much easier for small companies and individuals that have no affiliation to the giant manufacturers that currently dominate the market.

Google has said it plans to get an initial ‘grey’ Project Ara phone in early 2015, for around $50. No wonder it uses such an aged processor, then.

Via: Android Authority

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