What if you could build your own smartphones? The same way you can build desktop computers from various parts. Motorola’s Project ARA is breaking new ground in that regard. Its goal is to “create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines.” Project ARA is developing a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones.
Open-source can mean a lot of things to the diverse “tech” community. Open-source hardware is not a popular notion however, Motorola seems very confident about this project. They’ve met with Dave Hakkens , the creator of Phonebloks and combined forces. Phonebloks has a fast-growing community and Motorola says as they develop, the Phonebloks community will play a major role.
Promoting the idea for an open source hardware platform and their collaboration with Motorola, creator Dave Hakkens published these videos:
The design for Project Ara consists of an endoskeleton (endo) 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, keyboard, an extra battery, a larger camera, a smaller speaker or a component yet to be invented. Bloks can be bought from the Bloks store and be fit right into the device. Just like you made objects from Legos.
The company will be reaching out to developers to start creating Ara modules, and expects the developer’s kit to be released in alpha this winter; interested parties can sign up to be an Ara Scout (volunteers interested in helping Project ARA learn about how people make choices), now.