“Open source” usually refers to software that anyone can alter to suit their needs, but Motorola wants to bring this same sensibility to the smartphone.
The company today introduced its plans for Project Ara, “a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones.”
To put it in super-simple terms, Ara is a like a marriage between Legos and Android. You’ve got a Bluetooth brick, a battery brick, and all smartphone components rendered as easily replaced “pieces” that you configure to your liking on an Ara phone.
We’ve previously reported on Phonebloks, a very similar modular system that makes it easy to replace any broken parts yourself. The two companies have struck up a collaborative arrangement. Here’s how Motorola explained it on the company blog:
“Turns out [Motorola and Phonebloks] share a common vision: to develop a phone platform that is modular, open, customisable, and made for the entire world. We’ve done deep technical work. [Phonebloks] created a community. The power of open requires both. So we will be working on Project Ara in the open, engaging with the Phonebloks community throughout our development process.”
Motorola has no word on specific timing except to say “there will be a lot more coming from us in the next few months.” Chcek out this video below that demonstrates how Phonebloks (and Ara) work.
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