Motorola CEO talks about Project Ara (aka Phonebloks) and the future of Moto Maker

Motorola CEO talks about Project Ara (aka Phonebloks) and the future of Moto Maker
Phonebloks was one of the more interesting ideas to have come through the web in quite a while. The basic idea is this: why should you have to buy an entirely new phone in order to upgrade, or if something breaks on your current device? You don't need to do that with a desktop computer, or a car. Phonebloks turned out to be a campaign by Motorola for its Project Ara (which makes us think that this is what Guy Kawasaki was hinting at rather than Moto Maker.)

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside just finished up a Google+ Hangouts interview with Marques Brownlee where he talked about the Moto X as well as Project Ara. Woodside said that Phoneblox does have a prototype that is "pretty close", but the problem is the interface to allow the various components to directly speak to the motherboard. Right now, there are no standards to allow the speaker, camera etc. to talk directly to the motherboard yet. But, this is an issue that Motorola wants to fix. In very Google-like fashion, Motorola wants to create the open standard rather than building proprietary solutions. 

Woodside is especially excited about Phonebloks because of the potential for component makers. Right now, there are "a bunch of companies involved" for component production, but "it's hard right now" for them because they are limited in who they can work with. Component makers have to sell to hardware partners, but Phonebloks would allow those component makers more options to sell directly to consumers.

Woodside also hinted that when the product is ready, which will be a while, the plan is to offer it through Moto Maker. In the meantime, Moto Maker will be expanded with new materials offered. He made it sound like it won't stop with the wood backs, but didn't give specifics, though he did say that the wooden options were coming "very soon". While Project Ara is in development, users can even sign up with the project's DScout page to get information, and even be called on for missions.

source: MKBHD (YouTube) & DScout

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10 Comments

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I truly support this 100%. Moto can pull this off sooner or later.

2. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Unless they get sued by entities we shall not name directly but who all are aware of. Watch as patents start getting filed by said entities to block this asap while never acting on the patents they hold in terms of actually producing something mentioned in said patents.

4. mcshank

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 24, 2013

From what I have been reading, alot of the patents are already covered and honestly, when was the last time we saw much news of the so called "Company" that you wont name sue or take action against Google since Moto is no longer a stand alone. I want to make my own phone since some of the phones/companies I want to come to the US on all carriers dont due to costs or dont see it being as profitable...: (

9. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

Phoneblock is the complete opposite of what apple think it's right on hardware department.

5. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Me too, i see too many times the word "innovation" thrown out by certain companies who instead of making innovation they make evolutionary stuff. This is what i call innovation, completely new concept in the category established, i applaud Motorola for trying to make this concept alive!

10. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

lol, even PA say that apple digital scanner is inovation...

8. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

I honestly think this is a step that could help Motorola return to greatness. And I hope it pans out.

3. ocilfa

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

The power to make an ultra budget phone, an ultra high-end phone, or something of a mix between the two! I love the the component style of pc's and something like this needs to be done!

6. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

I'm hoping I can make an ultra, high-end phone with a landscape slider keyboard.

7. StreetNerd

Posts: 870; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

wasnt this idea from a Dutch guy?

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