Linaro, a not-for-profit engineering organization involved with ARM open source software development, has spent a little time talking about and showing a quick hands on with Project Ara and a few essential modules.
The talk looks at some of the implications and hurdles of the project and contains plenty of information for those looking to keep up with the modular engineering project. There’s about 10 minutes of content on Ara in the video and a brief close look at a phone being put together at the 36:34 minute mark.
The big hurdle still to be addressed by Project Ara is that of component compatibility and all of the implications that this has for low and high level programming. Ideally, Ara requires hardware vendors to collaborate on a specific device class, so that batteries, audio, WiFi components, etc, from different vendors all play nicely with Ara, much like common PCI-E, USB, or UART standards used in other pieces of hardware. The ARM development community and Google are approaching major vendors to try and address the issue, which could to help avoid the irritations and incompatibility issues associated with proprietary software and hardware.
There is still plenty of work to be done on Project Ara before the device’s commercial debut in Puerto Rico in the closing months of 2015, but developers look to have a firm handle on the challenges ahead.