Motorola Unveils Project Ara to Create Modular Smartphones

Posted by at 11:34 am on October 29, 2013

Motorola Unveils Project AraMotorola today announced Project Ara, a new initiative with the goal of developing an ecosystem that creates and supports modular handsets.

Motorola says it wants Ara to do for hardware developers what Android has done for software developers. Motorola says Ara modular phones will be based on an endoskeleton, which is the structural frame that holds all the modules in place. Device owners then can add modules – an extra battery, new processor, keyboard, display – to the endoskeleton to create their device.

According to Motorola, it has been working on Project Ara for a year and has already completed the technical work to make Ara a reality. It is teaming with the Phonebloks community and hopes to offer an alpha version of its Module Developer’s Kit (MDK) sometime this winter. Motorola believes that Project Ara will lower the barrier of entry for hardware makers and result in a vibrant, open community that will let people create unique and compelling devices.

Project Ara is similar to what Modu hoped to do with its own modular devices several years ago. Modu, however, ceased operations in 2011 and sold some patents to Google, which now owns Motorola.

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