A special edition of Android had to be created for the unique customizable design of Project Ara, said George Grey, CEO of Linaro.
Android can already plug and play SD cards. But Grey said additional OS functionality is needed for storage, cameras and other modules that are typically inside smartphones, but can now be externally added to Project Ara.
A lot of work is also being done on UniPro transport drivers, which connect modules and components in Project Ara. UniPro protocol drivers in Android will function much like the USB protocol, where modules will be recognized based on different driver “classes,” such as those for networking, sensor, imaging, input and others.
Some attachable parts may not be recognized by Android. For those parts, separate drivers need to be developed by module makers through emulators. “That will be need to be done in a secure system so the device can’t do damage to the system,” Grey said.
Project Ara is a very disruptive concept, and it turns around conventional thinking on how to build phones, Grey said."