As Google continues their march toward release of the modular Project Ara smartphone, one of the things they will need to make the device successful are apps, especially those that are unique to the modular platform. At the second day of their Project Ara developers’ conference, they have announced a developers’ challenge that will launch in May and run through September with a $100,000 prize.
In addition to the first prize cash payout, Google says the top two runners-up will receive all expense paid trips for a small team of two or three people to a future Ara devcon along with hardware supplied by Google to be used to continue development of their concept. Google says the official rules will include both subjective and objective criteria, including the likelihood that the module can be employed in daily use and whether it is unique to the platform. Other criteria will include factors like novelty of the proposal, the quality and elegance of the tech implementation, the scale of the module’s impact, and potential for commercialization.
To participate, developers will have to submit an abstract describing their proposed project and a hardware loan agreement. Google, in partnership with Toshiba, will provide a free package that includes a Unipro bridge and field-programmable gate arrays. Developers will be responsible for creating their own drivers and any apps needed for testing.
The official rules will be posted to the Project Ara web site in mid-May.