Feeds

Mix-and-match mobiles: Google unveils Project Ara dev conference

Seeks hardware hackers for Motorola's modular phone

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google says it is planning a series of three online developer conferences this year in support of Project Ara, the modular mobile phone design being developed by its Motorola Mobility division.

Announced last year, Ara is a unique concept that will allow users to build their own devices from a collection of snap-together parts. Customers who prefer a hard keyboard will be able add one, for example, while photo bugs will be able to upgrade their phones' cameras.

On Wednesday, the Chocolate Factory said that the first Ara Developers' Conference will be held from April 14 through 16.

Conference sessions will be conducted mainly online, including a live webstream and an interactive Q&A capability (we're thinking Google Hangouts), although a limited number of participants will be able to attend in person at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

The focus of this first gathering will be to introduce the Ara Module Development Kit (MDK), a platform specification and reference implementation that hardware tinkerers can use as the basis for building their own modules.

"The Developers' Conference will consist of a detailed walk-through of existing and planned features of the Ara platform, a briefing and community feedback sessions on the alpha MDK, and an announcement of a series of prize challenges for module developers," the Ara project homepage explains.

Ara modules interconnect using the UniPro protocol developed by the MIPI Alliance. For the alpha version of the MDK, Google says UniPro will be implemented in a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) running over a low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) physical layer. That means initial module designs will be run at less than ideal speeds, but future versions of the MDK will ship with a UniPro application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) running over the MIPI Alliance's M-PHY physical layer for better performance.

If that last bit sailed right over your head, then the Ara Developers' Conference probably isn't for you. You're welcome to tune into the live webfeed, but Google says it would like to reserve on-site attendance for actual, committed hardware hackers.

In fact, before the Chocolate Factory will even sell you a ticket to the in-person Mountain View event – at $100 apiece, or $25 for students – you'll need to submit a little essay on the conference's registration page explaining why you, of all people, deserve to attend. And if you do get the nod, which could happen anytime between now and the conference date, you'll have just 48 hours to cough up the cash.

Even if you don't make the cut, however, Google says the MDK specs should be available for download at no cost in time for the April event.

As for when the other two events in the planned series will take place, Google has yet to announce dates. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.