Motorola likes the modular phone idea

Motorola likes the modular phone ideaAt the weekend, I wrote a few hundred words about the Phonebloks concept, the idea being that future phones could be comprised of a base unit with lots of customisable blocks for your components (processor, camera, etc) on the rear.

Turns out Motorola has been working on something similar for over a year. It’s called Project Ara, and the US manufacturer has dished lots of delicious detail on its blog.

Project Ara is described as a “free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software.”

Ultimately, Motorola wants you to have “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.”

If smartphone cameras aren’t your thing, you might invest in a cheap, smallish 5MP component, leaving more room and cash for – say – your battery. Likewise, you might figure a dual-core processor is more than enough for your needs, and to hell with that ultra-expensive octo-core chip.

Motorola acknowledges the work done by Dave Hakkens of Phonebloks, and indeed they’ll work together to promote modular goodness. The Google-owned manufacturer says while it’s been doing the technical stuff, Dave has created a community, with the success of the project requiring both.

Team Moto anticipates an alpha release of the MDK (Module Developer’s Kit) this winter, with more info coming soon.

via: Motorola Blog

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7 comments

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 29, 2013 at 16:14

Interesting. More so, if I could pick an OS module not Android :)

SpeedyG  Oct. 29, 2013 at 16:22

Interesting. More so, if I could pick an OS module not Android :)

Sending you a Windows Beta module just for you when your ready :D

Actually with the right backing, this has the potential to take off if enough ideas get put in and no-one rushes it out.

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 29, 2013 at 17:32

Wndows beta? Beta?!? I'm all about the alpha, man :p
Seriously, though: I agree, it has potential.
It's already sort of real if you consider Nokia's recent flood of Lumias. WP aside, choices are manifold: large screen, really large screen, crap cam, good cam, awesome cam, bad battery, oh-really battery, decent-enough battery. Stunning screen, do-able screen and is-this-thing-on screen...
once we hit Lumia 25,900 all permutations are covered. Perfect device for everyone. (wp aside)

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 29, 2013 at 17:32

Wndows beta? Beta?!? I'm all about the alpha, man :p
Seriously, though: I agree, it has potential.
It's already sort of real if you consider Nokia's recent flood of Lumias. WP aside, choices are manifold: large screen, really large screen, crap cam, good cam, awesome cam, bad battery, oh-really battery, decent-enough battery. Stunning screen, do-able screen and is-this-thing-on screen...
once we hit Lumia 25,900 all permutations are covered. Perfect device for everyone. (wp aside)

Stelph  Oct. 30, 2013 at 15:03

One downside could be that dropping your phone could end up with an extreme explosion of components, plus remember how painful it was to step on a lego brick? considerably worse when its a sharp camera component id wager

Stelph  Oct. 30, 2013 at 15:05

I think it would encourage innovation as well I think, companies could come up with an idea for a new component and release it (i.e. NFC), if it sells well then winner, if not then its not such a bad write off as having developed a completely new phone

Would also make it easier to actually track and follow trends and predict where the market is going

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 31, 2013 at 09:17

Yep. My need for GPS, Bluetooth, NFC e.g. is near zero.
Gladly would trade those in for better cam and music performance.

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