Google will start teaching people how to build their own smartphone parts this April
Google announced today it will host the first Ara Developers’ Conference this April. The series of three conferences will show developers what they will be able to do with the company’s modular phone project. This is the first word of Project Ara’s future since Google announced plans to sell off Motorola for $2.91 billion to Lenovo in January.
The first conference will be held online with a a live webstream and an interactive Q&A. A limited number of people will be able to attend in person at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. According to the project’s website, the conference will focus on the alpha release of the Ara Module Developers’ Kit, which will give developers all the information they need to make an “Ara module.” In addition, Google will walk through the existing and planned features for the Ara platform and reveal prize challenges for module developers.
Modular smartphones are a priority now
It was unclear what would become of the open-source modular phone project after the Motorola sale. Google announced later that it would keep the Advanced Technology and Projects group, where Ara originated, and accelerate the project and others that group was working on. What this really means is that making phones that people can customize with individual parts is a priority for Google — much like Glass in its early stages, it was hard to tell if Project Ara would just be vaporware, but this developers’ conference series seems to, at the very least, bring the existence of modular smartphones closer to a reality.