Motorola announces plans for modular, 'snap-together' smartphones

Oct. 29, 2013 at 5:18 PM
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LIBERTYVILLE, Ill., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Motorola has unveiled a project that would let users create custom smartphones by swapping modules carrying different keyboards, batteries or displays.

The intention of Project Ara, announced by Motorola Monday, is to allow users to create custom smartphones that would stay up to date much longer than current designs, the company said.

Motorola, owned by Google, said an endoskeleton, or structural frame, would contain modules of the owner's choice, allowing users to swap out malfunctioning modules or upgrade as innovations emerge, CNET reported.

"Our goal is to drive a more thoughtful, expressive, and open relationship between users, developers and their phones," Motorola wrote in a company blog post. "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."

Developers have been invited to create modules for the platform and an alpha version of a module developers kit would be released this winter, Motorola said.

"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," Motorola said in its blog post.

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