About a month and-a-half ago, we here at n3rdabl3 I let you in on an awesome, but seemingly out of reach concept by Dave Hakkens called Phonebloks. Despite my beat around the bush article about it, discussions within the staff and with friends began. Would any company go for this idea? How would it make money? Well, Google property Motorola thinks they may have figured out the answers to those questions.
According to the official Motorola blog, “Project Ara is developing a 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.”
Originally started by the MAKEwithMOTO team cruising around in a truck called ‘Sticky,’ (covered in velcro, with hackable Motorola products paired to 3-D printers to let people produce their hearts out) Project Ara is the realization of what Motorola feels the world’s smartphone users want.
The phones will be produced around a base unit, known as an endoskeleton (endo), which has ports for different modules to be plugged into it. It allows you to plug in whatever you want, to totally customize the look, feel, function, cost, longevity and so much more.
Motorola claim to have been developing Ara for over a year, stating “Recently, we met Dave Hakkens, the creator of Phonebloks. Turns out we share a common vision.” They plan to team up, planning on “doing the technical work,” whilst Hakken “created the community.”
Some industry experts are claiming this to be a simple gimmick, and that there is no viability to a product like this. I guess time will tell.
What do you think? Surprised the idea is getting funded? Think it shouldn’t? Let us know in the comments below!