15:05 30 October 2013
Google-owned phone firm Motorola has recently partnered with Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, who has created Phonebloks. This partnership has lead to Motorola’s new project, which allows users to customise their smartphone components with Lego-like construction options.
Under Project Ara, users can buy a basic phone structure and add modules such as battery, other sensors, and keyboards.
Motorola said in a blog post: "We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software - create a vibrant, third-party developer ecosystem.”
"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."
The project will consist of what Motorola is calling an endoskeleton, the frame that will hold all the modules in place.
"A module can be anything from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter - or something not yet thought of.”
Meanwhile, industry experts are not sure as to how this project will affect the mobile phone industry.
Ben Wood, a mobile expert from CCS Insight, said: "Creating a Lego-like phone seems on the face of it like a great idea but the commercial realities of delivering such a device are challenging. Consumers want small, attractive devices and a modular design makes this extremely difficult.
"It's a nice idea on paper but whether we'll ever see a commercial product remains to be seen. Right now it would be a great improvement if it was easier to replace batteries and screens but even that seems unlikely in the near term."
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