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Google gets serious about modular phone with three conferences planned for 2014

Google is ready to go full steam ahead with its Project Ara modular phone as it prepares for a glut of developer conferences related to the device that was first launched by Motorola during its short affair with Google.

Related: Motorola’s Project Ara: Creating the world’s first modular smartphone

An announcement on the Google Advanced Technology and Projects [ATAP] Google+ page stated that the first Ara Developers’ Conference is set to run from 15-16 April and will be almost entirely online.

The conference will consist of a live stream and interactive Q&A session, and a handful of people are able to attend the gig in person, which will be at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

Google also has plans in place for a further two conferences at some point later in 2014, each one focusing on a different element of the device. Tech Radar reports that the first of these will be geared towards the alpha release of the Ara Module Developers’ Kit [MDK] that comes out in April. The MDK contains almost everything that is used to construct a smartphone such as the keyboard, battery, processor, screen or anything else that’s required. Details on the second conference, however, aren’t currently known.

Google first revealed that it was working with modular phone startup Phonebloks back in October 2013 on a device that can be dismantled part and put back together by the user to offer a level of customisation above and beyond current smartphones.

Project Ara, which might not even get into the hands of the consumer, is designed to test the “free, open hardware platform” concept that is at the heart of Phonebloks’ business. The removable modules will allow customers to upgrade certain parts of the device that are important to them, like the processor, whilst leaving other components, such as the camera, at a lower level.

Related: CES 2014: ZTE experimenting with modular smartphones

The project was originally under the Motorola wing but Google kept the ATAP part of the company hence why Google is continuing to develop Project Ara.