About two months back there was a great hype about ‘phonebloks’ where one will be able to upgrade/change any hardware feature of their smartphone they wished to. The idea came from a designer, Dave Hakkens and now it seems that he wasn’t the only one with this concept in mind, say hello to Motorola’s project Ara. According to Motorola, they have been working on this idea for the past 1 year and the idea has already resulted in the first actual prototypes. The hardware, in this particular future smartphone would be in form of modules that will be attached to an endoskeleton and will be upgradable or changeable.
That is precisely the reason why phonebloks got so much press and attention. Truth be told, the vision sure was an innovative one. Imagine a future where one need not to upgrade their smartphone every year or two but will have the option of upgrading individual components which they wanted to upgrade or replace. This sure will prove to be a breakthrough for the smartphone industry. So basically, Project Ara is Motorola’s take on the same concept where the company is busy in the development of a free and open hardware platform which will eventually become the designing guide for future modular smart phones. Motorola says that it’s trying to do ‘what the Android platform has done for software’ for the hardware market and wants to; ‘create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines.’
There isn’t much detail available since this whole idea is in concept phase but Motorola says that Ara hardware will be made up of an endoskeleton. Endoskeleton is primarily a structural frame into which the modules will be slotted. These modules would include the processor, display, extra battery and many other countless components which would make the user-end customization fun and limitless.
Motorola has in fact teamed up with Hakkens and is not being secretive about the project. They have also invited leading hardware researchers who are working to turn this concept into a real thing. Motorola is soon hoping to start work on the creation of modules for the Ara platform. Till then we can keep our fingers crossed!
- Motorola’s Project Ara joins Phonebloks in modular smartphone ambitions (slashgear.com)
- Motorola Supports ‘Phonebloks’ Concept of Modular, Open Hardware Smartphones With Project Ara (hothardware.com)
- New Motorola Phone Snaps Together Like Connector Set (psfk.com)
- Phonebloks’ Dave Hakkens talks about plans, partnership with Motorola (androidcommunity.com)
- Ask Hackaday: Does Project Ara Solve the Phonebloks’ Problems? (hackaday.com)