Doesn't anyone play Lego anymore? Children prefer Game Boys or other state-of-the-art consoles... Don't be mistaken, it's the adults who are reappropriating the Lego concept to customize the smartphone. And it's Motorola, who threw in with the project Ara the basics of such a concept.
Originally, it was the Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, creator of Phoneblockswho designed the modular phone that looks like a Lego. Already in September, the buzz had made its little effect in the blogosphere...
Since then, Motorola (a subsidiary of Google) has made the project evolve. Because starting from the simple observation that rather than renewing your smartphone every year, it would be more useful, both economically and environmentally speaking, to change only certain components.
In addition, it would allow the user to own a smartphone that is always up to date, or even improve it with new components. This would avoid the programmed obsolescence and messes associated with the world of telephony, which could be a game-changer. "A phone only works for a few years before it breaks or becomes obsolete."explains Dave Hakkens. "It's often the fault of a single little piece. But you still throw away the whole device because it's almost impossible to repair it. »
The designer has therefore invented a mobile phone where all the parts are detachable and can be changed: camera, battery, memory, speakerphone... Each component of the phone is represented by a small block, on the principle of Lego constructions, which you just have to add on an electrical base.
Motorola has therefore looked into the Phoneblocks in order to include it in its project. Arathe open source version of the mobile phone, allowing the user to create his own smartphone.
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Their ambition: to makeAra the hardware equivalent of Android for the software: the operating system adapts to just about every situation, from the watch to the TV screen. Motorola claims to have made "Do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software: create an ecosystem of motivated third-party developers, break down barriers, increase the pace of innovation and reduce development time.
At the moment, this project is in the Alpha phase. Therefore, it is unlikely to be released before mid 2014, the time it takes for the developers to design the first modules.