Spiral 2 Project Ara prototype has Marbell, Nvidia processor options
Project Ara, Google's attempt to create a modular smartphone, will be initially released in Puerto Rico this year, the company has revealed. News of the project's initial launch details come at the same time as the search company revealed its second prototype device, an upgraded collection of modules and endoskeleton which it calls Spiral 2.
Conference for modular smartphone will reveal initial launch details
The second set of developer conferences for the Project Ara modular smartphone will be taking place in January, Google has declared. Called DevCon2, Google's ATAP team hopes to use the time to show off developers the latest iteration of the Ara Module Developers Kit (MDK), as well as early plans for a market pilot, due to take place in 2015.
Modules from Project Ara will be switchable while smartphone is in use
Google's modular smartphone project will allow users to replace individual modules from the mobile device while it is still running. The majority of Project Ara modules will be hot swappable, with exception to the processor and display, so users will not be required to shut down the device before making any changes to the hardware.
Testing hardware for Project Ara modular smartphone shipping this month
Developers looking to get hold of components for Project Ara may start to receive hardware from Google in the near future. The company has opened itself up to requests for development boards for the modular smartphone, which will help hardware producers prototype and create modules before a commercial version of the device heads to market.
Japanese company to provide three types of processors, set to be sole chipmaker
A processor vendor has been picked for Google's anticipated Project Ara phone initiative, according to report from Nikkei. Working with Google as far back as October 2013, Toshiba has been tapped as a preferred vendor for the low-cost, modular smartphones. Commercial units of the phones are expected to ship in 2015.
Modules for smartphone to use conductive inks, continuous 3D printing platform
3D Systems has provided more information about how it will handle the printing of components for Google's Project Ara modular smartphone, a deal it signed late last year. The company is working with Carnegie Mellon University and X5 Systems on conductive inks, which could allow for the creation of complete components, such as antennas, completely in the printing process and without needing to add extra parts.
Developers could win cash prize for creating best Project Ara smartphone module
Google is aiming to launch the first Project Ara smartphone in January next year, the company revealed at the project's first developer conference earlier this week. Google is also attempting to encourage developers to produce sections of the modular smartphone, by offering a $100,000 prize in a competition for designing the best Ara module.
Project Ara developer kit defines basic specifications of smartphone modules
Google has provided more details about its modular Project Ara smartphone plans, by releasing its Module Developers Kit. The documents, published ahead of a developer conference for the device, detail how the smartphone is put together, as well as basic specifications that individual modules must fulfill in order to interface with the main endoskeleton and other modules.
Electro-permanent magnets for Project Ara demonstrated
Google has revealed more about its Project Ara modular smartphone ahead of its first Ara Developers Conference on April 15th. A video showing the team behind the project has been posted to YouTube by PhoneBloks, demonstrating how the smartphone stays together, as well as how individual modules could have various external textures and styles.
Introductory modular device will have Wi-Fi, display, no cellular radios
Google's modular smartphone could end up being an extremely cheap device at launch, according to Project Ara lead Paul Eremenko. The basic entry-level model of the device may be priced as low as $50 if Google gets its way, providing customers a touchscreen and basic components it requires to function, though it will just have Wi-Fi instead of radios for a cellular connection.
First of three conferences will help teach Ara module creation
Google will be providing more details of its Project Ara modular smartphone scheme to developers in a trio of conferences, the company has revealed. The first Ara Developers Conference will be held on April 15th and 16th, with the primarily-online conference using streaming video and accepting questions, while a "limited number of participants" will be able to take part in person at Mountain View's Computer History Museum.
3D Systems developing 3D printing line for Project Ara module construction
Motorola's modular smartphone has taken one more step into becoming a reality, thanks to a multi-year agreement with a manufacturing partner. 3D Systems has agreed to create a "continuous high-speed 3D printing production platform" for Project Ara, and ultimately creating modules as "Motorola's exclusive fulfillment partner" if it completes the platform's development.
Users can choose individual modules to create unique smartphone
Motorola is developing a system that could be used to create highly-customized smartphones in the future. Project Ara is hoped to become a "free, open hardware platform" that will let users pick and choose specific components for a smartphone from various manufacturers, followed by combining the modules together into a single mobile device.