Smartphone upgrades will soon be a thing of the past, as Motorola looks to build a modular smartphone.
The idea of a modular smartphone, one in which the hardware can be switched out as easily as a back cover, was first seen on YouTube with the “PhoneBlocks” idea started by Dave Hakkens. Now Motorola has turned its attention to making that idea a reality.
With Project Ara, Motorola aims to build an open hardware platform that is highly customizable, and one which allows volunteers to build their own modules. Motorola mentioned that it intends to bring the same changes to the hardware industry that Android has done for software. This includes “creating a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lowering the barriers to entry, increasing the pace of innovation, and substantially compressing development timelines.”
Motorola will be building a device with an endoskeleton, which forms the structural frame of the device, and users can customize what modules to add to the endoskeleton. Modules can be anything from a processor, battery, keyboard, sensors or additional memory. Invitations will be sent out to developers in a few months to start creating modules for the platform.
Motorola stated that its Advanced Technology and Projects division had been working on this idea for over a year, and that going forward will continue to work with Phoneblocks creator Dave Hakkens and collaborate with users in the Phoneblocks community. It is also looking for research scouts for the program, and if you’re interested, you can register by going to this link here.