Ever since Project Ara was announced back in October 2013, details of the effort and Google’s plans for it have trickled out. We know that the base Ara skeleton is expected to go on sale in January 2015 for around $50 and that the unit will run Android 5.0 Lollipop, which will allow for hot-swapping of most modules. Now the project’s head has detailed how consumers will be able to buy those modules.
Speaking at Purdue University, Google’s Paul Eremenko has revealed that Project Ara modules will be sold in a marketplace similar to the Google Play store, meaning that anyone will be able to take the MDK, create a module and sell it to consumers. Eremenko’s full quote:
"By following the Android model, we are creating a free and open platform. So as Android is open source and freely available to anybody, the Ara MDK is free and open and available to anybody, and so anybody can create a module per the specifications of the developer’s kit and put it in the Ara module marketplace, which is analogous to the Google Play store, and sell directly to consumers."
This effort will allow dedicated folks with a good idea to easily get their modules out in front of consumers and maybe have their idea take off. While buyers might be a bit more hesitant about buying hardware from just anyone than they are about installing random apps, this effort can still allow good modules to sell well.
You can check out Eremenko’s full interview for yourself below. The quote above begins at the 18:10 mark.
Are you still excited for Project Ara? Do you plan to buy a unit when they go on sale next year?