Project Ara’s newly released Module Developers Kit gives us new insight on the upcoming modular smartphone


Motorla Project Ara modules

Project Ara is officially one step closer to becoming a reality. As highlighted on the official Project Ara site, Google is now making available the “Module Developers Kit” (MDK for short) for developers. Using the MDK, devs will finally have the tools they need to begin creating the tiny components that will make up the modular smartphone.

The MDK details specific guidelines for Project Ara, showing what the phone will look like and the various sized endoskeletons it will be available in: mini, medium, and large at a later date. While developers will be able to create the various modules that make up the phone, only Google is allowed to make the endoskeletons (for now).

Project Ara enoskeleton sizes

Speaking of the modules, Google lays out guidelines relating to their size (how far they can extend out from the phone) and even lists off specific modules like Wi-Fi, battery modules, different sized displays, speakers, QWERTY keyboards, and even a thermal imager like the Predator. When it comes to applications, project Ara will run on Android, meaning apps shouldn’t be any different than those we see today.

This MDK is only the first of a few the Project Ara team will release in the coming months. As far as when you can expect to get your hands on the first Ara smartphone, Google is targeting a Q1 2015 release and plans to have an online market place similar to Motomaker where prospective buyers can build their perfect smartphone. The future of mobile is bright, and Project Ara has the potential to change everything we know about mobile devices. What could possibly be next, an Ara tablet? Stay tuned!

[Project Ara | via The Verge]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Mobile modular device. I love the way that rolls off the tongue.

    1. I’m thinking more of “Modular Smart Device.” :)

  2. What does it do software wise? ?

    1. It does…. Android. O_o

    2. Project Ara is pretty much all hardware, the rest Android.

    3. I can visualize an updated KitKat OS, with added firmware for ancillary software to support added features.

    4. It’s enough that It does not run iPOS 7…

  3. Here’s a thought… If you had a secondary battery module, could you make the primary battery module hot swappable?

    1. Project Ara’s chief of staff mentioned that they’re looking into making it so a user could actually swap a battery without having the power down the phone. Kinda nuts.

      1. Sounds like an engineering nightmare in of itself. o.0

      2. That sounds too good to be true. Will it have a mini battery already built in so it gives you just enough time to switch batteries?

        1. Sounds like the reserve tanks in your car for gas. You run out, but you have those reserves that gives you 50 more miles, or so.

        2. Paul Eremenko, head of Project Ara, said the frame includes a small backup battery so the main battery can be swapped.


      3. It sounds like maybe a smaller reserve battery?

      4. A method to make any device hot-swapable, would be to have a coin cell configured as a temporary power source during the battery swap. The coin cell could be charged during main battery charge times, diverting a tiny amount of current to the coin cell, say, 3 mA.

  4. Awesomsauce

  5. Guess I will definitely be holding off upgrading at the end of the year. I’ll wait a few more months for this. Even though I’m not a believer in purchasing first generation tech, I’ll make an exception for this. Will be keeping a close eye on it.

    1. I would love to obtain an early engineering sample!
      No matter how it would be configured, an early version would be so cool to have as a conversation piece.

      1. Collectors item for sure.

  6. Ooo!! How lovely!? Google need to speed up time so I can see this in action.

  7. My ideal setup: front facing speaker (only 1, at the top), 2 batteries (each with their own USB port for quicker charging), qwerty keyboard, and an x-ray camera (or just a regular one).

    1. with iOS 7 :)

      1. So by iOs 7 you mean Android w a grid of Apps as your wall paper?

      2. So by iOs 7 you mean Android w a grid of Apps as your wall paper?

      3. So by iOs 7 you mean Android w a grid of Apps as your wall paper?

      4. So by iOs 7 you mean Android w a grid of Apps as your wall paper?

      5. So by iOs 7 you mean Android w a grid of Apps as your wall paper?

      6. So by iOs 7 you mean Android w a grid of Apps as your wall paper?

  8. dream set up… 5.0 screen 4 small front speakers 2 top 2 bottom, FFC on the top enter between the speakers. Back Aps-c 18mp camera made by canon with a ef-m mount, 2800mAh battery,GPs, NFC, Wifi, Wireless charging, 120gb hard drive.

  9. My dream phone:
    5.5″ 1080p IPS LCD Display
    3500 mAh Battery
    Front Facing Stereo Speakers
    SnapDragon 810 Processor @ 3.5 GHz???
    4 GB RAM
    120 GB Storage
    IR Blaster
    20 MP Camera (The Sony Xperia Z2 Camera)
    8 MP Front Facing Camera
    Dual Xenon Flash
    Thermal Imager (not sure what for, but it would be cool)
    Qi Wireless Charging
    USB 3.0

  10. Ara is so money.

  11. I wonder how the costs for individual components compares to a traditional phone, or how the overall size will scale over time.

  12. Yey! Qwerty keyboard!

  13. One of the things I find funny about Project Ara is, it seems like as of late, the trend is to have a non-removable battery….. Well FORGET THAT, I want a removeable EVERYTHING!!!! WOOHOO!!!! I’m CRAZY with POWER!!! WOOOOO!!!!! LOL

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