Mortorola and Phonebloks Tackle Modular Hardware

Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group is working with the creator of Phonebloks on an open, modular smartphone hardware ecosystem.

The designs outlined by Motorola include an endoskeleton frame with modules that can be added, like a processor or a keyboard, to create a customised handset. The company, which is adding growing losses to Google’s balance sheet, says it wants to echo the success seen within the Android software division, including lowering the barrier to entry and cutting dev times.

Phonebloks hit the headlines last month, with commentators saying that although creator Dave Hakkens idea sounded good, it wasn’t clear if or how this system would come into production. Paul Eremenko from Motorola said: “We’ve done deep technical work. Dave created a community. The power of open requires both.”

Motorola will launch what it is calling a Module Developers Kit (MDK) before the end of the year, with invites to devs being sent out in a few months so they can start creating modules for the ecosystem.