Motorola unveils Project Ara: The handset that will never become obsolete

Hardware with the flexibility of software

Motorola unveils Project Ara: The handset that will never become obsolete

Motorola has unveiled Project Ara, a hardware platform that can be used for creating "highly modular smartphones".

Designed to deliver handsets that keep up with the advance of technology, Project Ara consists of what Motorola has labelled an "endoskeleton", with devices built out of modules that can be changed and upgraded as the user sees fit.

It's part of an attempt by Motorola to deliver hardware that has the flexibility of software, breaking the chain of endless handset upgrades for consumers.

Piece by piece

The endoskeleton - or 'endo' - is the basic frame of the device, and it's the component that all Project Ara handsets will be built upon. 

What really makes the handsets interesting, however, is the fact users  can pick and choose which modules they plug into their endo.

The modules - which could be anything from a new keyboard, battery, or camera - allow owners to tailor their phone to fit their own individual needs.

It also means that, theoretically at least, handsets will never become outdated.


It's a move that should also allow consumers to focus on the areas that are important to them, allowing camera enthusiasts to focus on their device's lens, or readers to bolster the quality of their phone's display.

From Motorola's perspective, however, Project Ara could be the company's last chance to offer some form of distinction from its competitors and regain some momentum in the mobile market - one, in the US at least, it briefly led.

In order to ensure Project Ara fulfils its potential, Motorola will be working with Phonebloks creator Dave Hakkens as it attempts to combine its "deep technical work" with the enormous community Hakkrns has created.

Motorola also plans to invite developers to start creating modules for the Ara platform, a move that could prove crucial, as third party support could make or break the device.

"Thoughtful, expressive, and open"

"We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software: create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines," said Motorola through its official blog.

"Our goal is to drive a more thoughtful, expressive, and open relationship between users, developers, and their phones.

"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."

[source: Motorola]

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