Why Motorola’s Project Ara May Work for Enterprises

Motorola is trying to do on the handset side what T-Mobile is doing on the wireless side: shake up the status quo. Beyond its customizable smartphones, Google-owned Moto is now developing a free, open hardware platform for creating EUhighly modularEU smartphones. Analysts said it could turn heads in the enterprise.

According to Paul Eremenko of MotorolaEUs Project Ara Team, the idea was birthed during a six-month journey with Sticky, a truck wrapped entirely in Velcro and filled with rooted, hackable Motorola smartphones and high-end 3D printing equipment.

EUOn that trip we saw the first signs of a new, open hardware ecosystem made possible by advances in additive manufacturing and access to the powerful computational capabilities of modern smartphones,EU Eremenko wrote. EUThese included new devices and applications that we could never have imagined from inside our own labs.EU

Android-Like Hardware?

After the trip, the company asked a key question: How do we bring the benefits of an open hardware ecosystem to 6 billion people? The answer was Ara.

Motorola wants to do for smartphone hardware what Eremenko said the Android platform has done for smartphone software: create a third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines.

EUOur goal is to drive a more thoughtful, expressive, and open relationship between users, developers, and their phones,EU he said. EUTo give you the power to decide what your phone does, how it looks, where and what itEUs made of, how much it costs, and how long youEUll keep it.EU

Project AraEUs design is made up of what Moto calls an endoskeleton, or endo, and modules. The endo, Eremenko explained, 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,...

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