Imagine a smartphone in which you could just pop-in or out parts, add a new camera or extra RAM or new application processor. Well, if Motorola is successful, your imagination might turn out to be real.
Motorola today unveiled Project Ara, its ambitious free and open-source modular smartphone hardware platform. With Ara, the company aims to make modular smartphones a reality.
“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,” Motorola noted in a blog post.
According to Motorola, a Project Ara device includes 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 has been working on Project Ara for over a year and will be releasing an alpha version of its Module Developer’s Kit (MDK) sometime this winter. The company has also partnered with Phonebloks, which shares similar aim and it will be using Phonebloks community and their input during Ara’s development process.