Motorola Ara has been announced and may revolutionize the way that smartphones are built and used by consumers. Ara is an “open hardware platform” meant to modularize smartphones, therefore allowing users to have full control over their device and how it operates.
Project Ara has been in the works for the past year, according to Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team. Motorola Ara was officially announced today, and the company has decided to work with another modular smartphone project, Phoneblocks.
Phoneblocks made headlines last month, when a short video revealing the project came out, and has since racked up nearly 17 million views on YouTube.
While Motorola may be in control of Project Ara, it plans on developing and releasing the hardware in the same way that Google works on its Android operating system. By doing so, other developers and companies will be able to come out with Ara-based products and build upon the main system.
Ara is entirely open-source, just as Android is, and will allow users to pick and choose which components they want in their phones. Not only will this allow for unique devices, but it will also cut back on waste, since customers can upgrade their phones without throwing away every existing part of their current device.
Of course, Motorola Ara is a very grandiose idea and whether it will take off or not has yet to be seen. However, Motorola seems hopeful and after a year of careful development, it is closer than ever before to making a modular smartphone possible.
With Phoneblocks now working with Motorola, Ara should have a far better chance of succeeding. If Ara ends up becoming a reality and something that everyday customers can purchase, people will be able to put any applicable component they want into a simple endoskeleton meant to house the internals of the phone.
Motorola said the following in Project Ara’s announcement:
“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.”
There are a lot of things that could go wrong and end up being setbacks for Project Ara, but with many consumers interested in the idea of a modular smartphone, Ara definitely has the potential to succeed if it makes it to market.
Motorola will be sending out developer test units this winter.