Motorola Project Ara to Build Open Hardware Modular Smartphone

A month ago, an interesting idea called “Phonebloks” by Dave Hakkens about a concept smartphone made of functional blocks was shared by many friends on Facebook.

The idea is groundbreaking that the idea video has over 16 million views on YouTube in a month.

If you haven’t watch it, here you are:

It is LEGO-like smartphone to me. You could replace or upgrade any part of your phone individually, without buying a whole new phone!

Will we have a open hardware smartphone like Phonebloks? With Motorola Project Ara announcement, the concept is one step nearer to reality.

Project Ara is developing a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones.

It would be like Android, the open source mobile operating system, to create a third-party developer ecosystem.

Just thought you would like to know that Motorola is now a Google company and Android is produced by Google.

Project Ara modules
Project Ara modules

Project Ara design consists of an endoskeleton (endo) and modules. Endo is the structural frame that holds all the modules in place. A module can be anything – processor, display, keyboard, battery, etc.

Project Ara smartphone
Project Ara smartphone

Project Ara will be working with Dave Hakkens’s Phonebloks community throughout the development process. You could help the project by become Ara Scouts.

Project Ara will invite developers to create modules for Ara platform in a few months, and release Module Developer’s Kit (MDK) alpha version in winter 2013.

Thoughts

Still remember the old day when we build our own PC and then upgrade hardware as wish? Now we are buying unibody laptop that cannot upgrade. Will smartphone goes the other way round become user upgradable? That’s very interesting.

The Phonebloks concept smartphone was buggy. I am glad to see Project Ara design is slim and stylish with colourful modules.

Oh, I can’t wait to hand-on a developer unit!

➤ motorola blog [via TheVerge]

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