GOOGLE is inviting pitches from developers who want to get their hands on its modular Project Ara smartphone, the best of which will be awarded development kits.
Google+ user Eduardo Ruiz reported the news, revealing that he had received an email from Google inviting him to submit an application.
He posted a copy of the email, which reads, "Dear Ara Module Developer: We are now accepting requests for dev boards that we demo'd at the developer conference back in April.
"This is FPGA hardware that corresponds to the v0.11 release of the MDK. It is designed to help with prototyping and development of modules for the Ara platform, including modules for the current (first) prize challenge that we formally announced at Google I/O."
Google will review the first round of applications after midnight on 17 July, the firm said, with the next wave of pitches set to begin the following day and run until 17 August.
"We will prioritise requests based on technical experience and the strength of your module concept," Google said, adding that it is running a Project Ara Developer Prize Challenge with a prize of $100,000 for the best fully working module created by 30 September.
"You may request the developer hardware at http://www.projectara.com/dev-board-form. The first round of applications will be due this Thursday, July 17 2014, 11:59pm Pacific Time. The second round of applications will be due on August 17, 2014," Google said in its email.
"We also anticipate making a new set of dev hardware based on the v0.20 MDK platform (which use ASICs instead of FPGAs for UniPro network processing and free up significant space for developer functionality in the modules) after the second developers conference in November 2014," it added.
Google said that it will start shipping the first Project Ara software development kits to developers at the end of July.
This news comes just a week after Google named its first 100 Project Ara beta testers, ahead of the handset's likely release in March 2015. µ