It’s been about a month since we last checked in with Project Ara, that Google effort to create a fully modular smartphone built around a set of interchangeable hardware modules. Even in the absence of a lot of updates, this is one phone we’ve been keeping in our thoughts, especially as we approach the end of the year; after all, we’d previously heard that Ara hardware could go up for sale in very early 2015. Today some new Ara developments manage to give us even more to look forward to, chief among them a video from Phonebloks showing the functional Ara prototype booting into Android.
The video talks about the design process and is an interesting glimpse into the work of these engineers, but the real draw here comes in the second half of the clip, where we not only see an Ara prototype pieced together, but powered-on into Android, all with what appears to be functional touch input.
Phonebloks also teases that a new Ara prototype – the Spiral 2 design – will take advantage ofimproved custom circuitry to allow developers even more room to build their own hardware modules. That new prototype is set to debut at the next Ara dev conference.
That brings us right into our next bit of Ara news, as Google ATAP announces a pair of events scheduled for January. The first will fall on January 14, with a focus on Europe and the Americas, followed by an Asian conference on January 21 – the same details will be covered at both events. Those are set to include this new Spiral 2 prototype as well as the next big release for the Ara Module Developers Kit. Maybe most importantly for us end users, Google confirms that it will discuss details of the initial Ara market pilot program, where this hardware will first be made available to the public.