Google to hold three developer conferences for Project Ara; prototype of modular smartphone to be ready 'within weeks'

Project AraOn its Project Ara homepage, Google has recently revealed that it plans to hold three developer conferences for the modular smartphone initiative this year. The first of these developer conferences is scheduled to be held on April 15-16 at Silicon Valley's Computer History Museum.

Project Ara is an initiative of Google's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group; the unit which Google retained while selling Motorola to Lenovo. The initiative is aimed at creating a modular smartphone which will unfold a free, open hardware platform that will give the users the ability to replace the components of their handset over time, rather than replacing the entire handset.

According to Project Ara-related details shared by ATAP group's Paul Eremenko with Time magazine, the work on a functioning prototype of the Project Ara modular smartphone is being finished up by the ATAP team.

The design of the modular smartphone consists of a structural frame dubbed 'endoskeleton' which holds different modules - a new display, keyboard, and an extra battery, among others - in place. The Project Ara platform will support three variants of the modular smartphone --- Mini, Medium, and Jumbo, which will respectively be basic, mainstream, and phablet-style variants of the device.

Eremenko said that a functioning prototype of the Project Ara modular smartphone is expected to be ready 'within weeks;' and the final version of the handset for general availability will likely be launched in the first quarter of 2015.