Google’s first Ara developers kits and conference are coming soon

Developers interested in creating their own features for Google’s Ara customizable phone project will soon get their chance: the company revealed today that developers kits and conferences are on their way.

Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects group’s Project Ara is dedicated to creating an open hardware platform that people can use to create their perfect phone. Small blocks containing different features would snap together onto a base to create a phone that is personalized both in function and design. Despite the January sale of Motorola, which originally handled Ara, Google hasn’t forgotten about the project.

Along with the news that developers kits news is coming soon, Google launched a site dedicated to the first Project Ara developers conference. It will take place in April in Mountain View, Calif., though developers are also invited to participate online. Two more conferences will be held before the end of the year.

Participants will be invited to develop their own Ara module based on the developers kit. Google will walk them through existing and future features. The site emphasizes that the kit is still a prototype, and a higher-performance version will be out shortly.

“We invite developers of all shapes and sizes: from major OEMs to innovative component suppliers to startups and new entrants into the mobile space,” the conference site says.

If it hasn’t happened to us personally, we all know at least one person who has broken the screen or killed the battery on their precious, pricey smartphone. The question: Do you take the broken phone to an expert or risk damaging it further by repairing it yourself, saving quite a bit of money in the process?

The promise of a modular phone is that you could always repair it on your own, without any technical skills. Just swap out the broken part for a new one and boom, you’re done. You could also upgrade to a nicer camera without replacing the phone altogether or add a keyboard if you don’t like touchscreens.

ATAP is also behind Project Tango, a 3D sensing phone that Google revealed earlier this month.