One of the best parts about building your own equipment is that you can swap out parts to upgrade said equipment without having to replace the entire thing. Such a concept has been the norm in the PC space for years, but it’s never been possible on smartphones just yet. That might just change if Motorola has anything to say about it.
Motorola introduced Project Ara to the world on Monday. The end goal of this latest project is to make smartphones completely modular. In other words, make it so that users can upgrade their existing phone with new parts instead of having to buy an all new phone.
Here’s how Motorola describes its ambitious new project:
Led by Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, Project Ara is developing a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software: create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines.
To make Ara a reality, Motorola has joined forces with Phonebloks to help spread the word. Phonebloks is a startup that wants to create mobile devices that are made entirely of customizable hardware blocks. Each block contains one component and users can switch out these blocks for any other block at any time. Check out their initial pitch video to see the potential of modular smartphones:
Motorola says that it will start sending out invitations to developers asking them to build modules for the platform within the next few months. It will release an alpha build of the Module Developer’s Kit in the next few months as well.[Image: Motorola Blog]