Project Ara is still slowly but surely making its way toward being a commercial product, and today one of the mysteries of the device–how people will buy and sell various interchangeable hardware modules–has been answered. Globant, a company focused on delivering “innovative software” has announced that they’ve partnered with Google’s Advanced Technology & Projects (ATAP) group on the development of a marketplace made specifically for Project Ara.
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Basically, Globant is planning to produce a marketplace that is very similar to Google Play in form and function, but will serve as a hub for buying and selling hardware modules for Project Ara rather than apps, music, and other media. Additionally, it appears that this store will provide many app store-like avenues, such as reviews and recommendations, to give users away to provide feedback and curate what Google hopes will be a “diverse” marketplace.
In late October, Google gave the world a look at a working Project Ara prototype, showing the state of the team’s “Spiral 1” model. Much more information about the current state of Ara and its direction, but specifically the “Spiral 2” prototype, is expected to be on display and discussed next month at the second annual Developers’ Conference. There will be opportunity to attend at two different locations: Mountain View, California, and Singapore. Applications are now open, and registration fees vary between $25 and $100.
Update: Google ATAP has this afternoon posted a photo of the Spiral 2 PCB board on its Google+ account:
Globant to partner with Google ATAP on Project Ara dedicated Marketplace development.
San Francisco, December 9th, 2014 — Today, Globant (NYSE: GLOB), a new-breed of technology services provider focused on delivering innovative software, announced that it has partnered with Google’s Advanced Technology & Projects (ATAP) group in the development of a dedicated marketplace, to serve as the principal hub for Project Ara modules and related hardware. The marketplace will be analogous to Google’s Play store for Android apps, and will also include reviews and recommendations by its users. Globant will collaborate on the store’s back-end development leveraging its eCommerce, digital markets and high performance systems practices.
Google’s goal with Project Ara is the creation of a two-sided market between module developers and consumers, with module developers gaining direct access to consumers (versus having to market to OEMs, or original equipment manufacturers), and consumers benefitting from a more diverse ecosystem of functional hardware options for their device.
“This represents a new milestone in Globant’s on-going partnership with Google and we are very excited to be part of such an innovative project. Google has been a Globant client since 2006, and this shows their continuous trust in us. We are thrilled to be involved in such revolutionary projects”, stated Martín Migoya, Globant CEO and co-founder.
The Project Ara team announced that they will be sharing a preview of their go-to-market pilot plans at the next Developers Conferences which will be held in January 2015. Developers in Buenos Aires are invited to join the conference at Google’s local offices by registering here: http://www.projectara.com/ara-developers-conference/. During the event, attendees will be able to discover the latest platform developments and hear from the Project Ara product development and leadership teams.
Recently at an interview at Purdue University, Paul Eremenko, head of Project Ara at Google revealed additional information about the project as well as about the marketplace in particular.