Project Ara is a platform for creating modular smartphones. Users will be able to populate an endoskeleton, the structural frame and network backbone of the device, and populate it with modules, the building blocks that make up the vast majority of the phone’s functionality and features.
The project has taken another step forward as Google has just released the first Module Development Kit (MDK) through which users can build modular smartphone based on Android.
Google mentioned in a blog post, “Today we’re announcing the first release of the Project Ara Module Developers Kit (MDK) v0.10. You can download the release at projectara.com/mdk/. This is a very early version but our goals are to give the developer community an opportunity to provide feedback and input, and to help us ensure that the final MDK–anticipated at the end of 2014–is elegant, flexible, and complete.”
The documents indicate that there will be three different sizes for Ara endoskeleton – mini, medium and jumbo. There’re modules that fit snugly into the endo frame and modules could be anything like process, display, keyboard, an extra battery or any customizable hardware components.
“The Ara platform consists of an on-device packet-switched data network based on the MIPI UniPro protocol stack, a flexible power bus, and an elegant industrial design that mechanically unites the modules with an endoskeleton”, the official blog explains.
The Project Ara team will keep rolling out alpha and beta MDK releases throughout 2014. Even, the Project Ara Developer Conference is planned to be held from 15 April to 16 April at Computer History Museum in Mountain View to provide feedback and input on the MDK. Developers can attend in person or join through online live stream option.
Project Ara was initially a project of Motorola that Google kept when it sold the company to Lenovo. The release of the MDK is a major signal that the project is growing. The first prototype is expected to be unveiled at Project Ara Developers Conference, while the commercial debut should take place during 2015.
Source: Google ATAP