The idea of owning a modular phone with affordable, replaceable parts was nothing more than a pipe dream just months ago, but Motorola’s Project Ara might make that dream come true in the not-too-distant future. In an interview with YouTube personality Marques Brownlee (MKBHD), Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said he doesn’t know if Motorola will be able to have a product on the market in the next 12 months, but the prototype is already “pretty close” to what Dave Hakkens imagined in his Phonebloks concept video.
Although much of the Project Ara conversation was speculative and hypothetical, Woodside did make a few important points regarding the feasibility of the concept.
“The idea is that you have a skeleton that holds together a set of components, and the components literally slide in and out,” said Woodside. “And if we had the interfaces and the protocols that enabled the speaker to speak directly to the CPU, then this would all be possible, and you could change your speaker out. But the industry really hasn’t yet set standards for those interfaces, so every phone has a similar proprietary set of interfaces.”
Near the end of the discussion, Woodside also alluded very vaguely to Project Ara’s potential release on Moto Maker: “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 going to pursue that theme across our product line going forward.”
The Project Ara discussion begins at around 12:00 in the video below.