Motorola’s prototype modular phone is almost ready

The modular mobile phone being developed by Motorola is “pretty close” to reaching the prototype stage, the company’s CEO has said in a YouTube interview. Once the final product is ready it could be sold through the Moto Maker website.

“The idea is you have a skeleton that holds together a set of components and the components slide in and out,” CEO Dennis Woodside told Marques Brownlee in reference to Project Ara, which was announced back in October. Motorola is partnering with 3D Systems in an attempt to make the idea a reality and take phone customization beyond cases and colors.

Woodside suggested we may see the first Project Ara prototype in the near future, and expanded on the philosophy that underpins the company’s Moto Maker website: “Moto Maker was the beginning of a more exciting and longer term story which is how do we involve consumers and give them more choice. Ara is much further out but you can see how those two things tie together.”

“What we’d like to eventually get to is customizing functionality within the device and that’s where Project Ara and Moto Maker may converge.”

Motorola isn’t alone in investigating the potential of a modular mobile phone containing components that can be swapped out and upgraded independently. You may remember the Phonebloks concept video we reported on in September, which lets you choose the exact specifications of your phone and leave out features you don’t necessarily need.

Watch the full 39-minute interview for more on the Moto X, Project Ara, future customization options and wearable technology.

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