Jason Chua of Project Ara team tells about Ara Configurator Application.
“During the last press conference we gave you a sneak peek of the user interface that our partner has designed for the Ara Configurator and here is the diagram.”
“We designed it to be very simple and intuitive and it mimics the physical structure of an actual phone. There are four vertical layers that correspond to three physical layers of the phone plus a top home layer (Home, Shells, Modules and Endos). There are also 4 horizontal spaces, starting on the right with the Marketplace, where users can browse and discover new modules, the Stash, which is sorts of a favorites bin that users can bookmark modules for later use, the Phone – the device you’re currently configuring and Specs screen, which gives you information about price, battery, etc. Since last Developers Conference we’ve been hard at work trying to turn this design into a real app with our partner Two Toasters. We have a long way to go but I’d like to show you where we are today using my demo device.”
“We’ll start off in the Marketplace. Afterwards we go to Stash where you can see different components (it’s still buggy) and modules that I bookmarked and want to use later in Configurator. I’ll swipe across again and you can see this is the phone you might be configuring.”
“I’ll show you the vertical navigation. As I pinch the next layer flies over the screen. I’ll pinch out and you can also see the Endo, pinch in and you see the shells. You can also move them around.”
“What if I want to buy this? I can swipe once more to the Specs screen and check out the price and battery life and if I click to complete the purchase, you can see I’ve completed the order and you’re getting the money. So that is the Configurator.”
“You might be asking what if I don’t want to have to make each individual choice one at a time. Therefore, we created Phone Makers and Shell Makers, which allow you to create fully complete and custom phone with very simple user input. A Phone Maker is a quick-start guide to making a phone or linking a social network and based on your likes, pluses or thumbs up in different posts or posted photos, it might suggest a phone that has a nice camera or cool outdoor sensors. We are still in the early development process and we hope to open it up to third-party developers and build new customization experience for users. We are currently developing Shell Maker API that lets users to put images or other cool designs on the backs of their phones.”
“This is the screenshot from the Shell Maker we are working with that allows you put photos of your dogs, strawberries on the back of your phone. There are cool digital artists that may have other great ideas, so we’re looking to open up this API to alpha-testers in about a month. If you would like to get in touch about developing Phone Makers or Shell Makers, you can check our forum or interest form online on the get involved tab of ProjectAra.com”