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Google gets custody of Motorola’s awesome modular phone project

January 30th, 2014 at 11:34 AM
Motorola Project Ara Modular Phone

Not all of Motorola’s assets will move to Lenovo following Google’s surprising sale of the former cell phone giant. Google will keep a large part of the Motorola patent treasure chest it purchased, and it will also get custody of the Advanced Technology and Project groups inside Motorola that’s led by former DARPA director Regina Dugan – that’s the division that manages the Project Ara modular phone initiative and other interesting products.

Dugan and her team of under 100 people will move to Google’s Android division, The Verge has learned, and report to Sundar Pichai, although it will have a “more independent role.”

Project Ara is a smartphone’s lover wet dream for now, a smartphone that would allow the user to keep swapping components and upgrade the device in a similar fashion PCs can be upgraded – but a lot easier. Such a smartphone would offer additional customization options to buyers in the future than the simple cosmetic handset personalization Motorola’s Moto Maker offers Moto X buyers. Even so, it’s not clear whether Google will ever launch a Project Ara handset in the future.

Other interesting products that Dugan’s team has worked on include tattoos that can be used for log in purposes and pills that can be ingested and powered by the stomach to turn the “user” into a password, and these are only products the company publicly discussed at last year’s D11 conference.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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