Google’s Motorola And Dutch Designer Developing Open Source, Modular Smartphone Hardware

Jason Dorrier | Singularity Hub | November 5, 2013

Motorola’s been Googlified. It didn’t take long. The firm’s advanced technology projects team (ATAP) is perhaps the most obvious symptom. ATAP is to Motorola what Google X is to Google. The team says they’re pirates who like “epic shit,” and like their parent company, they’re suitably obsessed with open source.

But while Google pushes open source software platforms like Android, Motorola’s ATAP is busy working on open source hardware platforms for smartphones. It’s their way of tackling the rapid cycles of obsolescence today’s devices undergo.

Called Project Ara and a year in the making, the dream is to provide a single universally compatible base (or endoskeleton) onto which every other component, from battery to camera, attaches. These components may be manufactured by a giant corporation or a maker on a shoestring budget—users will be free to choose.