Motorola’s Project Ara to make the dream of building your own phone a reality

Project Ara intends to do for hardware, what the Android platform has done for software.

A month ago, we told you about a concept called Phonebloks, which would enable anyone to build their phone by choosing its components themselves. While the idea was great, it was pretty sure that it’s a far-fetched dream since phone manufacturers might not support support such an initiative.

Motorola Project Ara 2

However, it turns out, that we were totally wrong! Motorola has announced a new initiative termed as Project Ara. The idea is essentially the same, the hardware would be completely open allowing for modular smartphones, i.e., adding or removing modules for the features we would like to see in the device. According to Motorola, the aim of the project is “To give you the power to decide what your phone does, how it looks, where and what it’s made of, how much it costs, and how long you’ll keep it.” Company also says that Project Ara would do the same to phone’s hardware, what Android (developed by its parent company Google) has done to the software. The building block of the device would be called endo (think of endoskeleton) which will be holding all the modules together. Modules can range from an application processor to display, from camera to a battery, or even something totally new!

Motorola Project Ara 3

Interestingly, Motorola has partnered with the Phonebloks and its creator Dave Hakkens, since both of the initiatives have common goal of open and customizable phones. The first step of this project would be to engage with developers to start creating various modules. The company is hoping to release alpha version of the Module’s Developer’s Kit (MDK). You can also be a part of the Project Ara by becoming a scout and help the developers to know what matters most to the end users. Most active scouts will be getting it for no cost, and all scouts will be eligible for exclusive discount.

One of the earliest members of the 91mobiles' editorial team, Nitansh is a walking encyclopaedia of product specs. Name a phone and he’ll tell you the specifics on screen resolution, processor and camera without blinking an eyelid. Ask him if he remembers the launch date of a noteworthy phone, and he'll tell you the dates when the device first leaked, its global unveil, its Indian launch, and when it got a significant update. He’s a lover of all things Android, and loves writing reviews and scouting for new apps. A Wordpress whiz, he’s always ready to help out a fellow writer. While he juggles between many things at 91mobiles, he always manages to find time to write. In his non-tech avatar, Nitansh is a philatelist, which is a fancy word for stamp-collector.
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