Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 29th Oct 2013 15:10 UTC
Google

Led by Motorola's Advanced Technology and Projects group, Project Ara is developing a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software: create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines.

[...]

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!

This could be the biggest innovation in smartphones since, well, the first smartphones appeared on the market. I am incredibly excited about this.

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RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by Alfman on Tue 29th Oct 2013 21:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

shmerl,

Oh I hear you. And even if you can reverse engineer all the drivers/hardware for your device, then what? After all that hard work you will likely end up on your own little software island because no one else can actually run your code unless they go out of their way to buy the exact same device as you. And even if you accept this limitation, there's no guarantee the hardware will even be available to buy once your software becomes useful.

I did some pretty awesome things with a tiny buffalo linkstation NAS drive, creating a very nice little VOIP PBX for my house. I was very happy with it, but when Buffalo obsoleted the product and released a new model, I had to throw away most of my earlier work and restart from the ground up. I decided then and there that I wouldn't ever become dependent upon proprietary ARM hardware again until this got sorted out. Of course we now know that it didn't get sorted out and it may never get sorted out because manufacturers would rather we use their proprietary software anyways.

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