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By GCN Staff

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Motorola brings modular phones closer to reality

Dave Hakkens’ Phoneblok idea is getting some traction. The project, which envisions phones as open-source, modular devices whose individual components can be changed out and upgraded as needed, got almost a million backers on the Thunderclap website, showing that many people would buy such a phone if it was available. 

Meanwhile, Motorola had been quietly working on a similar idea called Project Ara that, like the Phoneblok, uses a frame to hold the modules in place. A module, according to the Motorola blog, could be a new application processor, a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter and so on. 

The idea is to let people customize their phones, or upgrade or replace parts without buying an entire new phone.

Now, Hakkens and Motorola are working together to make the modular phone concept a reality, according to Design Taxi. Motorola will work on Project Ara in the open, engaging with the Phonebloks community throughout the development process. In a few months, the company expects to invite developers to start creating modules for the Ara platform.

Posted by GCN Staff on Nov 06, 2013 at 8:30 AM


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