Projectr Ara is the codename for an initiative by Google that aims to develop a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones.
The platform would include a structural frame that holds smartphone modules of the owner’s choice, such as display, keyboard or extra battery. It would then also allow users to swap out malfunctioning modules, or upgrade individual parts as innovations emerge, providing a longer lifetime cycle for the handset overall, and potentially reducing electronic waste.
A Market Pilot is scheduled for 2015, with a target bill of materials for a basic phone to be $50 USD.
The aim of the project is to lower the barrier for entry for phone hardware manufacturers to diversify the market, and stop hardware being developed by the current handful of big providers.