Motorola plans to open source from software to hardware components on their 'Project Ara.' Project Ara combines the principle of Legos and Android OS to allow consumers modify specific hardware parts for repair, upgrade or plain customisation.
Project Ara by Motorola
Due to the huge ecosystem and market share of Android OS, Motorola through Google's aid will impose the principle among hardware parts. Project Ara opens a wide variety of customisation on the exterior parts of an Android smartphone which users can use for repairing specific damaged parts, get instant hardware upgrades such as new camera lens or even change the processor type if the device is running slow overtime.
"Led by Motorola's Advanced Technology and Projects group, Project Ara is developing 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," posted by Paul Eremenko, Project Ara team member on Motorola blog site.
So if Project Ara goes live very soon, what exactly users will get from lego-type smartphone produced by Motorola?
1. Individual Modules
Phonebloks concept by Dave Hakkens opens to brand new design concept of smartphones which is composed of individual hardware modular parts. This means that the processor, display, keyboard, extra battery, pulse oximetre and others are independent modules - standalone parts - when separated from the smartphone. Modules allow several functions for modifications depending on the user's choice.
2. Hardware Modifications
Everyone wants this and that from another device to be included on theirs', so Project Ara envisions access to open source of hardware using modules. For example, if the consumer isn't interested with quad-core processor and willing to pay for modifications, Project Ara devices will allow choices of octa-core CPU to be installed instead of the default specs.
3. Swap or Trade Components
Swapping hardware parts are not possible yet among mobile devices and most laptop computers, but Project Ara having lego parts may be able to do this among compatible devices. Storage parts of Project Ara devices can swap contents more effectively if implemented
4. Upgrade Parts
Due to the plan of increasing the pace of innovation, hardware components overtime require some upgrades just like with software versions. If Motorola succeeds with Project Ara, Android device users will be able to 're-equip' new hardware parts to run future Android versions.
5. Segmented Repair
Repairing your smartphone will require you to leave it to the service centre depending on the damaged part and you'll get a replacement unit for the meantime. With Project Ara, segmented repairs will become possible if the damaged part is isolated among other components such as storage or camera lens.
Motorola will be sending invitations in a few months to developers on starting creating modules for the Ara platform and may also come with possible prizes. They are anticipating an alpha release of the Module Developer's Kit or MDK sometime this coming winter.
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