updated 02:06 pm EST, Sat December 7, 2013
Motorola preps modular phone prototypes
Motorola may be preparing to sell its Project Ara modular smartphone concept through its Moto Maker phone customization site. In a Google Hangout hosted on Friday, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside floated the possibility of the company's customization site being used as a means to tailor smartphones to specific user needs and desires. The prototype Project Ara device, Woodside says, is nearly complete, but word on when it may become available to consumers is unavailable.
"There is a [Project Ara] prototype, and it is pretty close," Woodside said. "The idea is you have a skeleton that holds together a set of components and the components slide in and out. If we have the interfaces and the protocols that enable the speaker to speak directly to the CPU then this would all be possible."
As to Project Ara's availability on Moto Maker, Woodside was less specific on a timeline. He did suggest, though, that the modular concept could be sold through the customization site.
"Moto Maker was the beginning of a more exciting and longer term story which is how do we involve consumers and give them more choice," Woodside said. "Ara is much further out but you can see how those two things tie together and how as we introduce new materials into Moto Maker we're gonna pursue that theme across our product line going forward... What we'd like to eventually get to is [customizing] functionality within the device and that's where Project Ara and Moto Maker may converge"
As TechnoBuffalo notes, the lack of a universal language for components to speak to each other is a major obstacle for Project Ara. Motorola is working to develop an open platform for modular components, a step that would make the concept that much easier to realize.