October 29, 2013

Make Your Own Smartphone by Motorola

Motorola phones assembled from modules
Motorola phones assembled from modules. Photo from Motorola Blog
Motorola is actively working on developing and implementing open "hardware ecosystem" compatible with modern smartphones. They came up with idea of modular system where you may create and assemble your own phone with your own hardware requirement in mind. This idea of modular system is not new. In military technologies some tanks have similar system implemented for years. However, in smartphone technologies, this is a new move and sounds interesting, since many people arguing what is the best combination of screen, processor, ROM, battery depending on use of the smartphone. Meet Ara. Led by Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group. Here is what they say about this free open hardware platform:

"Project Ara is developing a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software: create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines. Our goal is to drive a more thoughtful, expressive, and open relationship between users, developers, and their phones. To give you the power to decide what your phone does, how it looks, where and what it’s made of, how much it costs, and how long you’ll keep it"
Motorola phones assembled from modules
Motorola phones assembled from modules. Photo from Motorola Blog

How it's designed: there is an endoskeleton (endo) and functional modules. The endo is the frame that holds all the parts/modules together place (like a motherboard). A module can be any hardware piece, from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery. See more at: motorola-blog.blogspot.jp

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