When Google unveiled its Project Tango, a 5” smartphone that’s able to make sense of a user’s surroundings recently, many were asking what happened to Project Ara, Motorola’s attempt at creating a free, open hardware for modular smartphones.
You don’t have to wonder about that any longer as Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group has announced that a Developers’ Conference webinar will be held on April 15-16, 2014. ATAP was a unit of Motorola, which Google retained when it sold the company to Lenovo.
The conference will focus on the alpha release of the Ara Module Developer’s Kit.
“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,” Google posted on Project Ara’s site.
The first version of the MDK will rely on a prototype implementation of the Ara on-device network using the MIPI UniPro protocol implemented on FPGA and running over an LVDS physical layer. For the subsequent versions of Ara, they will built around a much more efficient and higher performance ASIC implementation of UniPro, running over a capacitive M-PHY physical layer.
Interested parties can register for the event so they can attend the online webinar for free and they will have the chance to ask questions about the project. The good news is, there will be a select few who will have the chance to attend the conference in person at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. Those who will be attending in person would have to pay $100, but if you’re a student, the fee is only $25. The fee covers food and a birds-of-a-feather session.
Applying to attend in person requires the participant to provide a short narrative articulating their interest in Ara module development, optional links to additional information that will help Google assess the participant’s interest. Google will review all in-person applications and if approved, the applicant will have to pay the registration fee within 48 hours of approval of application.
You register for the event here.