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The smartphone is one of the most empowering and intimate objects in our lives. Yet most of us have little say in how the device is made, what it does, and how it looks. And 5 billion of us don't have one. What if you could make thoughtful choices about exactly what your phone does, and use it as a creative canvas to tell your own story?  

Project Ara. Designed exclusively for 6 billion people.  

We’re excited to announce the first Ara Developers’ Conference, to be held April 15-16, 2014. The Developers’ Conference will be held online, with a live webstream and interactive Q&A capability. A limited number of participants will be able to attend in person at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

We plan a series of three Ara Developers’ Conferences throughout 2014. The first of these will focus on the alpha release of the Ara Module Developers’ Kit (MDK). The MDK, which we expect to release online in early April, is a free and open platform specification and reference implementation that contains everything you need to develop an Ara module. The Developers’ Conference will consist of a detailed walk-through of existing and planned features of the Ara platform, a briefing and community feedback sessions on the alpha MDK, and an announcement of a series of prize challenges for module developers. The complete Developers’ Conference agenda will be out in the next few weeks at projectara.com.

The Developers’ Conference, as the name suggests, is a forum targeted at developers so priority for on-site attendance will reflect this. For others - non-developers and Ara enthusiasts - we welcome you to join us via the live webstream. That said, we invite developers of all shapes and sizes: from major OEMs to innovative component suppliers to startups and new entrants into the mobile space.

We’re excited to take this next step with Project Ara, and see where the developer community takes the platform!

--Paul Eremenko, Head, Project Ara, Google ATAP
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43 comments
 
This is awesome. I'm excited! I have a big school presentation on the 15th but you can bet I'll be watching all that I can!
 
I will be there! Online that is, no money to get out there!
 
I can't wait to hear more. 
 
The smartphone diary of ones life.
 
The most exciting thing about Ara will not be about fashion statements, but advanced clip on sensors. FLIR camera? Yes, please. Uric acid meter? Sign me up! This is the tricorder we've been waiting for. 
 
I could care less about clip on anything. I rejoice not having to buy a new phone that doesn't quite have everything I want and being able to make said phone myself with components. 
 
^^^ "with clip-on components"

FTFY
 
Please do send invitations on Google + :-) 
 
What's cool about this project +Mike Trieu and +Andy Cwikla is that both of you find different uses for the same product. Modularity allows for every person to make what they want 
 
Should've been like this from day one. 
 
This is a game changer and the Tecterran crew are aboard!
 
Hopefully the participants that will attend will be 90%+ developers, allowing media not to take up too many if the valuable seats!
 
+John Doe What "other modular phone idea"? You mean, Phonebloks, the one that is partnering with Google? 
 
Most likely.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device available from UTS

-----Original Message---
From: "Mike Trieu (Google+)" <****@**>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 15:22:25
To: <****@**>

 
^^^ All that metadata for a two-word reply -_-
 
I can't wait for this to be released. Something that is designed to fit what I need would be fantastic. With so many phones out there to choose from you would think I would find one with everything that I need. But I'd need to maybe three different phones to get everything. So if this is everything they say it's going to be I'll be the first in line LOL
JW Z
 
I love it! ^ ^ 
 
+John Doe many of the projects in the "grave yard" were either not used any more or were rolled into other services.
 
What I really don't get is, what they envision to be modular? Considering that CPU, GPU, RAM and radios all live on the same chip. That doesn't leave out much, except for the screen and battery.
 
Modular design like this will change the face of human interaction with mobile technology.

Imagine if you were to purchase a new TV, and this new TV had a module insertion point that paired with your phone or other lifestyle devices.  You can move your DVR from room to room, device to device.  You could boot your phone on your TV by simply pulling a module from the phone and inserting into your TV or ANY TV that supports this modular architecture.  

I am sure some would say that - "wait - everything is going wireless and what you are suggesting is a break in that movement of technology".  I would agree that is the direction that technology is moving, but as are many things that Google does, this is disruptive.  The idea of pulling back on the trend to maximize the ever shrinking electronic device to a point where customization becomes important and not the size or the connivence.  

Further, when you look the trends in technology becoming increasingly more open and more accepting of a global ecosystem, this model will allow for even small business owners specialization in a particular area, to make headway against the big guys.  Google is enabling new economies that do not exist and then feeding on their success to further spurn new economies.  

Once the standardization of this kind of platform is in place, manufactures will flock to support it because it will be the primary differentiator that separates their product from their competition.  

Additionally, the manufacturing cost savings will be huge.  

Imagine buying a TV that had only one primary purpose.  To display input video - no tuner, no 15 HDMI slots, no onboard audio.  You then purchased a module for "Network (includes wifi, bluetooth, zwave)", "Home Theatre" complete with HDMI output (video and audio), HT control software, local storage. And finally, a "Video Provider" module that is specific to whatever service you like to use as your main video source.  

You could easily find most of these features in TV's today, but you are likely paying for many things you don't use, like the digital tuner or the onboard speaker system and audio controller or the built in bluetooth receiver or the flash memory used to store all of the TV software configurations.

Eliminate all of that waste and provide the ability to customize or dual use devices, and you have a recipe for incredible life changing success.  I cannot wait to see what the future holds.
  

 
 
I hope the people that buy this will be able to read a schematic one day. Otherwise this looks like a "make" kit. (Plug this here, solder that there, instructions with no technical explanation whatsoever)
 
BTW good luck trying to put together a phone without the GPS chip. Of course this may make it a bit easier to remove it from one of the "blocks", considering a phone case won't have to be removed beforehand.
 
The key feature that modularity will make useful is the camera. Some corporates may not like the idea of a personal phone with a camera, so instructing employees to simply 'snap/slide off' the camera module will be a lot easier and cost effective than requiring them to have two phones. Another is interchangeable lenses, memory modules etc. Many other ideas come to mind! ;)
 
So how does one sign up for the conference?
 
I'd love to hear a frank discussion of the downside of this approach. Typically modularity has added costs and more clunkiness through lack of integration and optimization of fixed components.
 
Whooooohooo!!! I'm suuuper exited!! I'll buy it asap!!
 
So I can have 1 phone block and 7 batteries? Hmmmm.....
 
this will be a great innovation in the field of technology, this will change the life style. i am very excited about these things............
 
+Rick Merritt I agree that this actually doesn't make sense for creating the most cost effective phone. But if done right, this could be a basis of an ecosystem of DIY smart devices. 

You are trading off flexibility and serendipity of development for ultimate lowest cost for any specific application. Its a hard nut to crack. You have to ether fund a long adoption cycle, have some other way to make money off of it or it can never reach critical mass.
 
This could be the arduino of smartphone field! I'm very excited to see it and tinker with it! XD
 
I love the idea behind Project Ara I am eagerly waiting for more details. Project Ara could alter the course of android development.

Android could arguably be the technology most at risk of changing with Project Ara. One of the nice things about closed devices is that the software bundled with them is designed to work efficiently with the specs of the respective product. Project Ara assumes that everyone has their own set of components based on their needs, which means vendors can't predict what the operating system needs might be. That could force Google to take a more restrictive stance with software development or force those tinkering with its software to support anything and everything to accommodate all customer needs. The question, then, becomes, will that create a bloated Android? Many questions surround Android's integration with Project Ara.

+Daniel Makoski +Google ATAP +Sundar Pichai 

- See more at: http://www.eweek.com/mobile/slideshows/googles-project-ara-10-ways-it-could-change-smartphone-design.html/#sthash.i3PdDYD3.dpuf
 
much modular. such ATAP. so android. wow. much want
 
please do cater for a QWERTY keyboard module :)
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