The yearly, or even sooner for some, upgrade cycle for mobile phones has left Motorola with an idea on how to mitigate the seemingly wasteful practice, by announcing ‘Project Ara’ an open hardware ecosystem that will allow people to build their own device using an endoskeleton(endo) and modules.
The modular phone concept is described by Motorola
The endo is the structural frame that holds all the modules in place. A module can be anything, from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter–or something not yet thought of!
Led by Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, Motorola hopes that Project Ara will do for hardware what Motorola says that Google has done with Android ‘create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines’.
The concept is reminiscent of the Phonebloks concept that was introduced a couple of months ago, and Motorola will be working with Phonebloks creator Dave Hakkens and the Phonebloks community through their website, as well as seeking input from Project Ara research scouts, volunteers that are willing to give feedback on how they make choices.
Moving forwards, Motorola will be releasing a Module Developer’s Kit (MDK) sometime this winter and will offer further updates via their blog.
Starting with phones, there’s nothing to say that this couldn’t be broadened to tablets as well. It’s an interesting concept and it’s great to see that the Phonebloks concept is being picked up by a large manufacturer.