Motorola Wants You to Build Your Next Smartphone

Motorola is looking to change how smartphone features are bundled by giving users the ability to create their own custom designs. They're calling the concept Project Ara, and the idea is to give users the physical building blocks to make just the smartphone they want.

Motorola's Project ARA: Build your own phoneMotorola's Project ARA: Build your own phone

Ara, which is still a concept, lets users start with a bare frame where they attach modules to give them the features they want. For example, they could choose the type of camera they want, or how bit their battery will be.

Paul Eremenko from Motorola's Advanced Technology and Projects group said,

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.

The company has been talking with Dave Hakkens from Phoneblocks, which is an open source project to make exactly what Project Ara describes. Motorola hasn't even reached a point where it can offer coders and designers an alpha version of its module development kit, but the company is hoping to have that available some time this winter.