Project Ara has found its first 100 beta testers

Project Ara has found its first 100 beta testers
Back in October, soon after Motorola first unveiled the plans for Project Ara (née Phonebloks), a dscout research project was started to help the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group understand what users wanted from a modular phone. That dscout research is now done, and it has yielded quite a lot of information for ATAP, including who should be the first 100 beta testers for Ara.

Over 90,000 users signed up to the dscout project, and the plan had always been to give the 100 most active users access to the Project Ara hardware first. ATAP has released the names of those 100 users, who will eventually get a Project Ara phone for free. Unfortunately, it is a bit unclear when that will happen. The announcement mentions that Google (where ATAP lives now) will be refining Project Ara over the next 8 months. If that is the time table leading to the beta release, that would mean the first hardware would go out around March of 2015. 

The plans for Project Ara are quite ambitious. The idea is to offer a fully customizeable smartphone with swappable modules for the display, CPU, GPU, storage, RAM, camera, battery, etc. And, on top of all that, it is planned to have the starting price for an Ara device be just $50, which would be a disruptive technology to say the least. 

source: dscout

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30 Comments

1. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

$50 will be the biggest hurdle.

6. sgodsell

Posts: 7433; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Even if its $100. Sign me up for 5 of them. The thought of replacing or adding in another CPU with RAM or change the storage. Swap out Communication modules. Swap out different displays. The docs point to a maximum of 2 AP modules (Application Processors). That's just cool. Hurry up and get them out there Google.

2. express77 unregistered

Thats innovation.

9. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

THANK YOU!!!!!

3. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

They will be nowhere near as pretty, thin, or compact as today's smartphones. Regular smartphone hardware is designed to fit together like a puzzle piece and make the smartphone as compact as possible. With Project Ara, each module will need to have its own case and be isolated from all the other components, which is very inefficient for the size of the phone...

5. Busyboy unregistered

This phone wasn't designed to target the average customer.. It was designed for devs and power users who want to customize their phone to a new level. I frankly don't care how it looks, as long as everything works the way I want it to. Only concern is accessories like cases and such. But great idea Google!

10. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

THAAAANNNKK YOOOUUUUU!!!!

28. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

It'll eventually go commercially to average customer.

8. sgodsell

Posts: 7433; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I will trade looks any day of the week if I can change or swap out modules (indirectly components CPU, RAM, storage, display, camera, and more). Please point me to a device that allows you to do such a thing (other then a PC).

11. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

Thank You!!!

19. steelew

Posts: 221; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

I will put a case on that B...dont care. AND I don't care that it will be a little thicker either. Not motorola brick phone thick but a little thicker than my GS4 would be fine.

21. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

It would probably be at least twice as thick as your GS4...

4. Armchair_Commentator

Posts: 222; Member since: May 08, 2014

I just hope people don't complain when they add the top of the line camera and the worst possible cpu / ram and it doesn't work well

7. sgodsell

Posts: 7433; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

But the beauty of it is you get to swap out the AP module and put in a different one. Or better yet put 2 AP modules in one Ara device. The sky is the limit with Ara.

13. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

Yes it is!

25. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

finally a non-thank you post from you

12. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

i think that there is going to be some kind of basic requirement for everything, to avoid problems like this

14. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Interesting, I thought that there was a strict deadline of January 2015 to have this phone to the market... Still though, can't wait to get my hands on this phone. And for those of you who are saying that this phone is only for the power users... you're wrong, the $50 base price indicates that Google is targeting the low income market with this phone. They even said that this phone is custom designed for the 5 billion people who do not yet have a smart phone. Not so say that hard die hard tech heads won't be blowing lots of cash to make their dream phones though. And everyone who says that the phone is too big/fat... isn't OtterBox the most common phone case on the market and those turn all your pretty slim phones into bricks so... yeah.

17. mixedfish

Posts: 1560; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Yeah but when you add an Otterbox on this....I don't even want to imagine.

22. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

I like your point about the OtterBox cases...

30. Busyboy unregistered

No, your wrong. The $50 base price may seem like a bargain, but thats just for the base that comes with a screen, very small battery and very weak processor. I'm imagining each module to be over $50 each, and this phone wasn't designed to target the remaining 5b people, didn't you review the Keynote?

15. Boybawang

Posts: 205; Member since: Jun 02, 2013

I hope ARA put enough space for a monster battery! I don't care how long is the charging because I just plug it all night anyway.

16. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Actually, they said one of the concepts is that you could have two batteries in the phone at once. When one runs out of juice, you can take it out and replace it with another without ever having to power off your phone.

18. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

you know when you drop your phone and the back cover and battery fly off. what happens when you drop one of these?

20. steelew

Posts: 221; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

Put a case on it like every other phone.

23. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

I'm not sure if you could get a case for this type of phone. The size and shape of the phone would depend on every one of the components that you add to it. That would make it very hard for case manufacturers to make a case for every possible combination of components...

24. wax33

Posts: 45; Member since: Apr 06, 2014

lol, fzacek is like John Snow. He knows nothing.

26. NIghtbaron

Posts: 11; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

ok can someone tell me what exactly is this project ara?? is there anything else apart from replaceable parts?

27. PeterK.

Posts: 314; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

It's not just "replaceable parts", it's the modularity that makes Project Ara so exciting. Take a look at this:http://www.phonearena.com/news/Googles-Project-Ara-the-first-Lego-phone-toys-around-with-grand-ideas_id55268

29. NIghtbaron

Posts: 11; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

wow that is innovative thanks for the link

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