If you've been to this site in the last few weeks, you might remember Phoneblocks. They had a cool idea that would see you swap out parts of your phone based on your needs as a user. It was pie in sky at the time, but now Google-owned Motorola wants to make it a reality. Meet Project Ara.
Project Ara is simple: it's "a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones". It takes the Phoneblocks concept and runs with it to create the hardware answer to Android: something free and open for users to mess about with and create new stuff with.
Motorola reveals on its blog that it has actually been in discussion with Phoneblocks to create a "common vision". The only difference is that Ara has been in the works for a year now.
Here's how Motorola describes it as working:
The design for Project Ara consists of what we call an endoskeleton (endo) and modules. The endo is the structural frame that holds all the modules in place. A module can be anything, from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter—or something not yet thought of!
This isn't just a pie in the sky plan Motorola is working on, either. It assures us that it will have developer prototypes out in the next few months. Goodness.
Check out Ara on the Motorola Blog.