Motorola reveals the Project Ara modular smartphone design concept
The idea of a modular smartphone design is not brand new but the fact that a big name like Motorola is interested in it clearly shows that this could be the way of the future. Using this design approach already made public by Dave Hakkens’ Phonebloks (please see the video at the end of this article), Motorola comes up with Ara, a project that has been started about a year ago and tries to "bring the benefits of an open hardware ecosystem to 6 billion people".
According to the official Motorola blog the project is led by the company’s Advanced Technology and Projects group and works on a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones.
The above allows easy upgrading and repair of any handset built this way. Replacing a defective processor or upgrading the old one does not require any special tools and adding/replacing various modules (WiFi, Bluetooth or audiophile audio decoder, for example) is just as easy.
This is how Motorola describes this design concept - "The design for Project Ara consists of what we call an endoskeleton (endo) and modules. 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!"
Motorola is now working with Phonebloks on this big project and the alpha release of the Module Developer’s Kit (MDK) is expected to take place "sometime this winter". This may still be a long way from reaching the masses, but it has all it takes to change the mobile world of tomorrow.
"There will be a lot more coming from us in the next few months." writes Project Ara Team's Paul Emerenko, so stay tuned for more.