Building your own PC is passé, you’ll soon be able to build your own smartphone, thanks to Motorola’s efforts.
The Google-owned company has announced Project Ara, its new free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones.
“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 Advanced Technology and Projects group, Project Ara Team, in a blog post.
While Motorola already allows users to customise some external design elements of its Moto X phones, the new project will allow users to select the look as well as internals of their own phone, and even change it when they get bored.
“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,” said the post.
The Project Ara design scheme comprises of what the company calls an endoskeleton (endo) and modules. The endo is the structural frame that holds all the modules in place, while a module can be anything, from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter or some other customisable hardware unit.
Motorola is working with Dave Hakkens, the creator of Phonebloks, a smartphone concept that envisioned changeable hardware components, for the project.
Motorola plans has planned an alpha release of the Module Developer’s Kit (MDK) for winter and says that it will also send an invitation to developers to start creating modules for the Ara platform.