While Google has confirmed it is selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, the search giant will not include the Ara modular phone project in the sale, according to a new report from The Verge.
Google will not be selling off the Advanced Technology and Projects group, which includes Project Ara, led by former DARPA director Regina Dugan. Instead, the company will be integrating the team into its Android unit.
Google will also retain all the patents developed by the Advanced Technology group. However, Lenovo will get the licence to use these patents.
What is Project Ara?
For the uninitiated, Prject Ara focuses on a structural frame that can be fitted with smartphone modules of the owner's choice. The components that can be attached include display, keyboard, battery, storage space, camera and much more.
The concept behind the project is that the phone owners can customise the phone to suit their needs using interchangeable modules. For instance, if a user values a higher battery life over the handset's imaging capabilities, he can then use a larger battery module and choose to go with a smaller camera module.
The concept has the potential to revolutionise the mobile world in a big way since handsets will have a longer life owing to the fact that owners can constantly upgrade the frames with the latest components and technology.
Google had paid $12.5 billion to purchase Motorola less than two years ago. The company had recovered some of that money by selling Motorola's set-top operations last year to Arris Group Inc for $2.35 billion. Read more about the sale here.