Was just about to hit the hay for the evening when this came through the wire. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure I’m not still dreaming in my onesie, but here goes. Revealed in a press release just moments ago is Motorola’s ambitious open hardware platform dubbed Project Ara. You heard right, according to Motorola, they want to do to hardware, what Android has done to software. How? By creating an open based modular smartphone platform. I’ll give you a few moments to pick your jaw up from the ground.
Better? Good. Alright, so the goal with Project Ara is to have 3rd party developers create pieces of a phone that can be decided upon by the user, not unlike what we saw in the Phonebloks concept we showed you a few weeks ago. While everyone could agree that allowing users to choose individual components of a smartphone could be fun, it sounded so far fetched, many — myself included — dismissed it as a dream that simply wasn’t possible. Oh, how wrong we were.
According to Motorola, each device will come with an endoskeleton or “endo” that holds all the different components together (see above image). And really, skies the limit when it comes to the modules that can be attached to an endo. Hardware keyboard, faster processor, bigger battery, or something different altogether (taser gun perhaps?). Anything you can dream up.
The craziest part is that Motorola says they’ve been secretly working on Project Ara for over a year now. This could have really been what Motorola’s Guy Kawasaki alluded to back in March. It wasn’t until recently Motorola teamed up with the creator of the Phonebloks concept. Motorola mentions a similar vision for the future of smartphones, where the Phonebloks head has already begun laying the groundwork for a community based on open, customizable, modular-based hardware.
Motorola says the MDK (Module Developer’s Kit) will be released sometime in the next few months, where developers will soon be invited to start creating modules for Project Ara. Interested in becoming an Ara Scout? Motorola is inviting regular folks like yourself to collaborate with them on “special missions” that will help shape Project Ara for the masses. Think of it like the Motorola Feedback Network but more fun. Sign up here.
Okay, now that we got all that out of the way… Seriously, is this a dream?
New video posted:Motorola and Phonebloks: the next step.