Motorola proposes modular smartphone design with Project Ara

Motorola Project AraAre you tired of feeling tied down to a particular specification every time you buy a new smartphone? Do you crave such complete control that you want to build your own device? If so, you’ll be interested in Motorola’s latest venture, named Project Ara. It’s being promoted as an entirely modular phone system, where you get to choose the eventual spec of your phone.

Motorola has already explored customisation of smartphones with MotoMaker for the Moto X, where U.S. buyers can choose the colour of their phone and add a personal message on the body, but Project Ara is a major leap forward. The phone starts off as a blank chassis, or endoskeleton, and modules can be attached to provide its features and specification.

These could range from the screen, the processor, the amount of memory, and the size of the battery, allowing you to spec the phone to your own needs, and interestingly, price range. After all, you may want an awesome screen and processor, but don’t care about the amount of internal memory or camera. Manufacturers are already doing something similar with the recent influx of Mini phones, which are lower-specced, cheaper versions of popular top-of-the-range phones.

At the moment, Project Ara doesn’t have an announcement date, as it’s still in the experimental stage. However, Motorola – with Google’s financial backing, don’t forget – says it aims to have a developers kit ready to send out before the end of the year. This could mean at some point in 2014, you may get to design your phone from the ground up thanks to Motorola.

About Andrew Boxall

Andy's fascination with mobile tech began in the 90s, at a time when SMS messages were considered cutting edge, but it would be at least a decade before he would put finger-to-keyboard as a freelance tech writer. In the interim he wrote about travel, formulated strong opinions about films and drove a series of audacious cars