NEW DELHI: Recently, Motorola announced Project Ara, an initiative that aims to create smartphones with customizable hardware. It soon tied up with 3D Systems, an integrated solutions provider, to come up with the modular smartphones.
In a Google Hangout chat, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said that the first Project Araprototype “is pretty close.” He also said, “The idea is you have a skeleton that holds together a set of components and the components slide in and out. If we have the interfaces and the protocols that enable the speaker to speak directly to the CPU then this would all be possible.”
The aim of the project is to create smartphones whose individual components can be upgraded easily. Users would have the option of removing an older component and replace it with a new one. This would do away with the problem of replacing a smartphone every few months due to upgrades in technology.
Moto Maker, the online tool introduced by Motorola to customize its Moto X smartphone, will be used to create these modular smartphones. The online solution currently allows users to only pick the colour, material of construction and messages on the rear panel. However, it is expected that with the launch of the first Project Ara handset, users will be allowed to choose more hardware features, such as RAM, camera, screen size etc.
Just like Google did with Glass, Motorola has decided to turn to crowdsourcing for the development of Project Ara phones. It has started a programme that allows interested users to sign up and give suggestions to improve the modular smartphones. Motorola will provide an early release version of the customizable smartphone to the most active participants of the initiative.
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