We’ve been hearing about Google’s efforts to transform our pre-configured mobile devices into something more modular like a PC in which parts can be swapped out at will, called Project Ara, it really started up the hype about modular smartphones.

And now we have more info about this exciting innovation, a few days ago the Ara Developers Kit was released, this now lets the developers get down and dirty with the hardware for the first time

The kit covers design guidelines, describing valid module dimensions, internal construction, and layout for power/communication pads.

All Ara modules are based on a series of squares, and below you can see how these squares come together to form the various endo frames that will be available. Even within those general sizes, there can be a number of options for endo design, supporting different numbers of, and different sizes of individual modules.

It’s all a great read for really tech-minded smartphone fans, describing cool features like just how those electropermanent magnets are switched on and off to hold modules in place.

From what we’ve seen, there will be 3 sizes “Mini”, “Medium” and “Large” which is slated for a later release.

The next bit of news is that the 1st Project Ara Developer Conference took place on the 15th, Google took the time to not only try to attract developers to the platform, but also to preview some new designs for modular handsets.

Head of Project Ara Paul Eremenko has said that there will be at least two more Project Ara developers conferences, one in July and one in September. He also said that one goal of the project is to “democratize the hardware ecosystem, break it wide open, basically disintermediate the OEMs, so that component developers can now have privy with the consumer.”

You might’ve already heard that the manufacturer will have to expend just 50$ for a unit but the final retail price is still unclear, we did get an ETA though, a limited feature version might become available by January 2015.

Google also showed off some of the interesting design ideas that it has for the devices. Users will have access to the Ara Configurator which is their version of the Moto Maker, where they will be able to choose colors for the components, or even upload an image which will be printed onto the components to make up the back. There are even plans for 3D printed textures for the backings.

What do you think about the future of Modular Smartphones such as this? Let us know down below & Stay tuned for more info…

Source- WSJ

Via – Android Authority

 

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