Motorola Modular Phone Prototype "Almost Ready"

The first prototype of a modular smart phone, likely including the exoskeleton and at least a few module variations that can be assembled to create a working smart phone with various features, is almost ready.

Though commercialization is a ways off, Motorola's Project Ara, working with Phonebloks, looks to be first out of the gate with such a device architecture. 

Project Ara is an open source project run by Motorola that aims to create a modular smart phone, where crucial components, such as screens, processors, batteries and radios are components that can be put together on a custom basis.

In principle, modular smart phones might be attractive for several reasons. Users could customize their hardware features to some extent, as they now customize the look and feel of their screens and have personalized app loads.

That should allow for the possibility of lower-cost devices as well, as devices are custom-built the way Dell used to assemble PCs only after they were ordered.

Less waste would be another advantage, since a device would not have to be thrown away when a major upgrade was required. Perhaps a module swap would do.

Such devices also would to a greater extent be easier to repair, as a module swap would be possible in some cases, not replacement of a whole device.

The whole idea is to create a smart phone that is completely modular, so each component, including the display, processors, battery, storage, camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, for example, all are all separated into discrete blocks that all attach to a main board and are secured by just a couple of screws.

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