I remember my old Handspring Visor and its expansion slot with incredible fondness, and so the idea of Ara, Motorola's new modular smartphone project hits me square in the nerd spot. Like lego for phone tech, the idea promises a theoretically limitless amount of blocks that you can use to build your own, custom, device. Swap screens. Swap modems. Swap chipsets. Swap espresso makers. Well, no, not that last one. At least not yet... Motorola:
The design for Project Ara consists of what we call an endoskeleton (endo) and modules. The endo is the structural frame that holds 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!
There have been other attempts at the modular phone before, none successful. But Motorola is a Google subsidiary and that means they have access to not only money, but a certain willingness to do crazy cool stuff with it. Whether or not this is the future of gadgetry, part of it, or just another noble attempt to fly too close to the geek sun, I don't know. But I'm going to love finding out.
It's probably not something Apple will be doing in the near future - even though the name "iPods" would sound great with it - but this is the advantage of having multiple companies in the space. We get diversity of approach.
Anyone else looking forward to Ara?