The Project Ara
team just wrapped up its first developers conference, and although there was plenty of excitement, there are many huge challenges ahead before the modular smartphone becomes a Real Thing. To that end, Google
is laying down a challenge to developers and offering a $100,000 prize as an incentive.
The details of the competition will be made public in mid-May on the Project Ara website
(and run until September), but in addition to the big $100,000 prize, two runners-up will get a free ride with a couple of compatriots to a future Project Ara developers conference and will also be assured of development hardware.
The first working Project Ara phone is scheduled to debut in January, and there will be a $50 grayphone
with nothing more than a processor, WiFi, and a display. Ostensibly, users will be able to connect a variety of modules to that simple endo that include anything module makers can dream up, from cameras to biometric scanners to speakers.
The Project Ara MDK
is just now available, though, so devs have their work cut out for them. What will actually be available come January remains unclear.