Couple of months back we got the news that Motorola is working on a modular phone project named ‘Project Ara’. Now, Dennis Woodside, CEO Motorola has confirmed that they are almost ready with a Project Ara prototype.
Project Ara aims to provide a longer lifetime for smartphones in a world where smartphone specifications get upgraded every few months. Consumers either have to upgrade to a brand new device or get stuck with the ‘old’ hardware. However, Project Ara wants to change this by creating a base device to which different internal component modules like bluetooth, GPS, battery, processor, camera etc.could be attached. Each module can be replaced individually, resulting in a truly modular smartphone. Eventually if a final product is released it will join the MotoMaker site.
Project Ara started at Motorola one year back but meanwhile a similar project named ‘Phonebloks’ was under construction and seeking Kickstarter funding. Motorola after discovering this, invited the Phonebloks team to work with the company on the project since they were trying to build almost similar device. Even though project Ara keeps almost similar design to Phonebloks at a macro level, the latter had pin system of connecting parts to the main board but Ara is in favour of sliding contacts.
Recently Motorola also partnered with 3D Systems, a company specializing in 3D printing to develop Project Ara. They will work with Motorola to help manufacture custom 3D printed parts for the device..
Project Ara seems to have a huge potential and Motorola wants to make it a success by taking help from the community, they have setup dscout page which invites participation from consumers in form of feedback and inspiration. They also promise to give out free early release versions of Project Ara if it is a success.