Some months ago word spread around the internet about an incredible new startup concept project called Phonebloks, which aimed at giving consumers the ability to upgrade their phone hardware one piece at a time. Crowdfunding enthusiasts weren’t the only ones paying attention, though, and now Motorola has joined in to help bring the product to life under the name Project Ara.
The idea around Project Ara is much the same as the original idea expressed by Phonebloks creator Dave Hakkens, and aims at creating a smartphone which will never be thrown away for a newer model, but slowly upgraded bit by bit. As Hakkens explained in the introductory video for Phonebloks, technological garbage is one of the fastest growing waste problems in the world.
Motorola will be working alongside Hakkens to create Project Ara, which is similar in concept to technical projects the company has apparently been working on for some time. If all goes according to plan, Ara will be a smartphone with a difference, and be completely customizable for every user. Users who want longer battery life or a better screen (or anything else you can imagine) will be able to swap out their detachable components for better models instead of replacing their entire phone.
Currently, there is a plan to release a Module Developer’s Kit sometime this winter, to encourage development of innovative hardware from outside sources. According to Motorola, one of the aims of Project Ara is to encourage innovation from third-part developers to keep modules competitive and fresh.