Google with Motorola is trying to shake the smartphone industry with Project Ara. Project Ara aims at a smartphone where each of the major components are user up-gradable. This means user can increase storage space, upgrade to a faster processor, or change to high resolution display, just my changing the related module.
Just like Android as a platform for software, Project Ara aims at a open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. Manufacturers can make the modules and users will have the choice to pick the one of their choice, just like choosing a software app. Project Ara is Led by Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group.
The design for Project Ara consists of ‘endoskeleton’ or ‘endo’ (that’s how Google/Motorola calls it ) and modules. The ‘endo’ is the structural frame that holds all the modules in place. A module can be anything, from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter–or something not yet thought of!.
The user can populate the endo with “modules,” the building blocks that make up the vast majority of the phone’s functionality and features. The modules can be easily and safely inserted and removed at any time, even while the device is powered on. The modules also have user-replaceable covers or “shells,” which provide a creative canvas for users to make their phone look exactly as they wish.
The concept is there for sometime Google and Motorola is been working towards it for over an year and it is nearing reality. It is expected to soon send 100 phones to 100 Lucky Beta Testers and they will receive Google Modular “Ara” Smartphone for Free to do the beta test..
Motorola through official blog confirmed that, the ‘Ara’ team is coordinating with Dave Hakkens, the creator of Phonebloks to make the project faster.Motorola’s official blog says :
Recently, we met Dave Hakkens, the creator of Phonebloks. Turns out we share a common vision: to develop a phone platform that is modular, open, customizable, and made for the entire world. We’ve done deep technical work. Dave 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, as well as asking questions to our Project Ara research scouts (volunteers interested in helping us learn about how people make choices). In a few months, we will also send an invitation to developers to start creating modules for the Ara platform (to spice it up a bit, there might be prizes!). We anticipate an alpha release of the Module Developer’s Kit (MDK) sometime this winter.
If you are wondering on be the price of a ‘Ara’ phone, Google says the entry level phone could be available in the range of 50$-100$. Surprised ?
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