Joining forces with Phonebloks and developing a platform in the open
Building off of a project it called "MAKEwithMOTO," Motorola is ready to unveil its plans for modular smartphones called Project Ara. Ara, for short, is all about building a system that makes the process of creating smartphones that are upgradeable, customizable and open. Partnering with the folks at Phonebloks that recently brought this idea to a wider audience, Motorola wants to do with smartphone hardware what Android has done with smartphone software.
Motorola thinks that you, the end user, should be able to decide how much your phone costs, what it's capable of, how it looks and how long it will be in use. The concepts — shown above, and once more after the break — certainly have our gears turning. The basic idea at this point is to have a main "endo" (endoskeleton) that acts as a frame to hold various other modules in place. Those modules could be anything from a camera or a battery to a physical keyboard or various sensors.
Best of all, Motorola plans to work on Ara in the open, getting the community involved in the process as much as possible. The hope is to have invites heading out in the coming months to get developers on-board to start making modules, and Motorola expects to release a Module Developer’s Kit (MDK) by this winter. Is this really the future of mobile devices? On some level, Motorola surely seems to think so.