Google outs Project Ara smartphone plans

February 27, 2014 // 10:36 a.m.

Tags: #atap #google #lenovo #motorola #motorola-mobility #phonebloks #project-ara #smartphone

Google has confirmed that it is ploughing ahead with Motorola's Project Ara modular smartphone concept, announcing a developers' conference in April ahead of planned commercialisation by early 2015.

The company formerly known as Motorola Mobility unveiled Project Ara back in October, two years after it had been acquired from parent company Motorola by advertising giant Google. Based on Dave Hakkens' Phonebloks concept, Project Ara looked to create a smartphone that had more in common with a traditional PC than its counterparts: a modular design which allows for easy upgrading or customisation of any component in the system.

When Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, it kept a fistful of handy patents and the Motorola Advanced Technologies and Projects division responsible for research and development projects including Project Ara. The company made no mention of Ara at the time, however, leaving the industry wondering if the concept had been shelved.

Thankfully for anyone who thinks the smartphone market is getting a little stale, that's far from the case: the company has announced that it will be holding a Project Ara Developers' Conference at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California on the 15th and 16th of April. One of a planned three events to take place this year, the conference will cover the alpha release of the Ara Module Developers' Kit, to launch in early April as a free resource for companies wishing to develop modules for the Ara platform.

Google has also confirmed plans to go ahead with commercialisation of the concept, telling Time that the device will be ready for release in the first quarter of 2015 - likely as a future Nexus handset running the company's Android operating system.
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