Google is starting to get the train rolling on getting early Project Ara development boards into the hands of software and hardware engineers. In case you don’t remember, Project Ara is a work-in-progress concept that will allow users to build smartphones how they want with the use of rectangular modules.
Modules can be displays, cameras, storage space, RAM and more, allowing you to make the device you want. The main benefits of Ara will be to provide devices that are as inexpensive, flexible and powerful as you need them to be. Google’s planning to target a $40 starting price for a barebones device that doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, and you’ll be able to add the extras you need a la carte.
You can now apply to receive one of these exciting devices for purposes of development (meaning your average Joe Schmo consumer shouldn’t be touching this form). In case you don’t believe me Google spells it out quite clearly in the first line of their evaluation agreement:
You agree to only use the Device for purposes of development, evaluation and testing purposes directly related to Project Ara.
And to weed out the folks who don’t fit the type of candidates Google is looking for, they’re going to ask you questions about your technical expertise and the concepts you want to work in when or if you receive a development board. Needless to say, it’s probably not worth lying about your intentions to try and score a unit. Google will be reviewing applications in waves:
- First wave: from now until July 17, 2014, 11:59pm PDT.
- Second wave: from July 18 through August 17, 2014.
Should you be lucky enough to be accepted you’ll be contacted within a week to receive your device, and Google says they’ll begin shipping the first batches starting later this month. Oh, and if you’re from Cuba, Iran, North Korea or Syria then you need not apply: Google says they won’t be able to ship to those countries.
Knowing all that, if you think your idea can catch Google’s attention and you want to apply for a development board you can head right here for the signup form, the evaluation agreement and all the other information you’ll need to hit the ground running. We certainly can’t wait to see what comes of all this once the product is ready for commercial availability.