Motorola has announced Project Ara – a new initiative that allows consumers to customize their smartphone beyond color, ringtones and wallpaper. Project Ara allows a user to purchase a basic phone structural frame (called an Endo) and add modules such as the keyboard, camera, battery, and display.
The approach allows users to customize a phone to their specifications (and price tag). A consumer who wants a top of the line camera can simply have installed in the camera.
The modular approach would also allow for easier repairs and upgrades, since a specific module can be swapped out without much effort.
Google-owned Motorola will use the Android OS for the new phones.
Project Ara is an intriguing enterprise. And a challenging one. But we like the idea of putting the building blocks into the hands of the consumer. Kudos to Motorola for embarking on such an endeavor.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.