Posts tagged project ara

Project Ara dscout featured snippet

Today’s featured snippet is from 33-year-old Christian from Denmark:


How thick is your phone?
0.9 cm The size is very similar to the z1 to accommodate a variety of modules

How long is your phone?
14.7 cm

How wide is your phone?
7.35 cm

What material did you use to build most of your phone?
Glossy photo paper

Which modules did you create for your phone?
Camera, battery, USB,WiFi, additional storage, speaker, bluetooth, GPS, accelerometer

What other modules did you add? 
Standard modules Electronic bug detector Geiger counter Plastic explosive + detonator Remote control for BMW or Google driverless car Night vision monocular Mini dart gun module Satellite phone + antenna SDXC SIM Micro usb Extra modules Tails module modified for secure, private and anonymous communication Taser Mini flame thrower Aerosol (pick your own chemicals) Some of the ideas have been shown in various movies, or already exist. Whats new is assembling all of the ideas in a modular phone.

If you want to join dscout and help us make the world’s first fully modular smartphone visit

Insights and Inspiration

As we begin Mission 4, the Project Ara team wanted to share with you some of the insights and inspiration we’ve gotten from all of our scouts. We’ll begin with Mission 1, which overwhelmed us beyond expectations. As this experiment in global, open, online design unfolds, we’ll share back what we’re learning after each mission (we’ll be quicker moving forward :).

Let’s start with a few numbers:

  • within the first 24 hours of announcing Project Ara, 40,000+ scouts signed up to participate in the Project Ara Research Scout project

  • almost 3 months later, we’re still getting a few dozen sign-ups each day

  • Mission 1 had 18,097 scouts who submitted 41,567 snippets. The picture above is a collage of the scout profile images to inspire the team!

  • Scouts come from at least 111 countries (and these are just from those that entered their country in the profile - I suspect we have closer to 200 countries represented). The map below shows the snippets we received in the first 72 hours.

  • well over 25% of scouts have Apple devices - very cool to have everybody in the mix!

Mission 1 invited people to share their first impressions, and we got a little bit of everything. Most of the impressions were around customization, module possibilities, and just pure excitement. Here are some of our favorite snippet titles:

  • each phone one of a kind

  • endless possibilities

  • innovation above profitability

  • user inspired

  • the 4ever phone

  • second chances

  • open community

  • a brand I grow with

  • the best of everyone

  • complexity into simplicity

  • as unique as me

A few things stood out to us. First, a lot of scouts explored how a modular phone might support the close relationships in their life: such as a couple or a household swapping and sharing modules. Here’s an example:

“When making something your personal brand is not enough, make it even more personal by coupling parts together. With your love or your best friend or your grandma. So parts belong as you belong in your family.”

The second thing that surprised us is how many scouts talked about how energizing it was to be part of the conversation. We called this category of snippets “Moto+Me”, and the contributions here encourage us to continue with our open design approach. Here’s an example from Mark in the UK:

"Open, user driven, forward thinking community. The first peer to peer hardware community. Able to easily interact and give/get support from developers."

Third, Project Ara has captured the imagination of the world’s youth. Scouts range in age from 13-73, but the largest group of participants are in their 20s and the next are in their teens. Each snippet was ranked on a level of excitement from 1 - 7. What was really interesting is that while the average interest level steadily declined with age, it shot up to the highest levels for those over 70. Teens and our most senior scouts are clearly our most enthusiastic participants.

Fourth, while the overall tone of participants was optimistic, there were a few key questions and concerns that we saw repeatedly. As we begin to develop and share the technical details of the project, we’ll address each of these questions:

  • Will the pieces easily break apart if dropped?

  • How easy is it to take the modules out and fit in new ones?

  • Will there be enough space for all the modules I want?

  • Won’t this feel bulkier than the standard phone? Will it look good?

  • Is there a way to lock down the parts so they don’t “walk away”?

  • Will I need to upgrade the main board every few years?

  • Will my phone be water proof despite its modular design?

What we’ve seen so far has only solidified our belief that the best kinds of innovation come not from closed doors, but from an open collaboration that engages everyone in the process of thoughtful design. And while we can never hope to return as much inspiration as we’re getting from all of scouts, we’ll continue to share back some of the insight from their participation.

A sincere thanks from the entire team.

// daniel

Daniel Makoski // Creative Director // @mak0ski

Advanced Technologies & Projects (ATAP) // Motorola - a Google company // @MAKEwithMOTO

P.S. You can always reach us at for anything related to dscout, or @mak0ski for anything else.

Project Ara dscout featured snippet

Today’s featured snippet from dscout mission 3 is by 27-year-old Mikhael from Russia.

We love the use of organic materials and the slidable modules:

How thick is your phone? 
8.9 cm

How long is your phone? 
14.0 cm

How wide is your phone? 
6.9 cm

What material did you use to build most of your phone?
bendable plastic

Which modules did you create for your phone? 
camera, battery, WiFi, additional storage, speaker

What other modules did you add? 
Biometric (finger scanner), 3d-scanner.

If you want to join dscout and help us make the world’s first fully modular smartphone visit



A little over a month ago, we announced Project Ara and invited the world to be part of the conversation. We expected several hundred people to be excited about it. Maybe even a couple thousand. If we’ve been a little slow reporting some of the findings from the first research mission it is because we got more than a couple thousand. You blew away our expectations: 16,173 people submitted 37,770 snippets from 111 countries. You literally overloaded our dscout account. For that we thank you. We had a few hiccups in the beginning but we’re now ready for the world.

To make sure anyone can get involved, we just launched a web form so that anybody can participate regardless of the device you currently have. We’re especially excited for those of you who don’t have a smartphone to get your voice in there.

The full results from the first mission are coming soon. But just for now we wanted to share something that excited us. This is just a quick glance at some high level data. This graphic shows the top words that you used to describe your Ara phone. They are drawn from the titles, descriptions and comments of all the snippets you submitted. 

Over the last month we’ve been going deeper into individual postings. And hired two additional full-time anthropology PhDs to help us understand what makes all of you tick.

We can’t wait to show you what you’ve made possible.

Stay tuned.

// daniel

Daniel Makoski // Creative Director // @mak0ski

Advanced Technologies & Projects (ATAP) // Motorola - a Google company // @MAKEwithMOTO

Project Ara dscout Mission Two: Colors and textures and pictures oh my!

As we develop Project ARA, we’re setting up a series of dscout missions. These missions let people from around the world help us tackle some of the questions that we come up against while making Project Ara come to life.

Mission Number One was all about collecting people’s first impressions of Project ARA. We got some great stuff that Daniel is going to report back on soon.

In the meantime, say hello to Mission Number Two: we’re making a global brand mood board - help us!

As we’ve been building the product, we’ve also been building the Project ARA brand. We have ideas about what the brand should stand for, what it should say, what it should do and what the overall energy of it should be.

While our ideas are well and good, we’re quite curious about what you think.

So, what’s a brand mood board exactly?

Mood boards are a collection of images, colors and textures that represent a brand. They should be inspiring and bring to life what a brand is all about.

So our mission to you is this: in the next three days, photograph and tag at least three images, colors and/or textures from your world that you think best represents all the goodness that Project ARA can be.

Not a Project ARA dscout agent yet? Sign up here.

We’re really looking forward to what you have to say.

We’ll share it all back soon.  

Rock on.

// heidi (&daniel)

Heidi Hackemer // Brand Director // @uberblond

Daniel Makoski // Creative Director // @mak0ski

Advanced Technologies & Projects (ATAP) // Motorola - a Google company // @MAKEwithMOTO

Say hello to Project Ara

It’s always an exciting day when we can tell the world about a project we’ve been working on.

So with much excitement, say hello to Project Ara. 

At ATAP we’ve challenged ourselves to answer the following question: how do we bring the benefits of an open hardware ecosystem to 6 billion people?

Led by Motorola’s ATAP pirates, 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.

Our goal is to drive a more thoughtful, expressive, and open relationship between users, developers, and their phones. To give you the power to decide what your phone does, how it looks, where and what it’s made of, how much it costs, and how long you’ll keep it.

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!

We’ve been working on Project Ara for over a year. Recently, we met Dave Hakkens, the creator of Phonebloks. Turns out we share a common vision: to develop a phone platform that is modular, open, customizable, and made for the entire world. We’ve done deep technical work. Dave created a community. The power of open requires both.  So we will be working on Project Ara in the open, engaging with the Phonebloks community throughout our development process, as well as asking questions to our Project Ara research scouts (volunteers interested in helping us learn about how people make choices). In a few months, we will also send an invitation to developers to start creating modules for the Ara platform (to spice it up a bit, there might be prizes!). We anticipate an alpha release of the Module Developer’s Kit (MDK) sometime this winter.

So stay tuned. There will be a lot more coming from us in the next few months.

 Paul Eremenko (, and the ATAP group Project Ara Team