Google showed off a working prototype version of Ara which lets you live-swap hardware modules like cameras and speakers onto a base frame which contains the core phone components — you can even say, "Okay, Google, eject the camera" to release modules.
Google announced yesterday that it's moving the ambitious Project Ara modular smartphone team out of the ATAP research lab and into its own proper unit within Google, under new hardware chief (and former Motorola president) Rick Osterloh. Ara phone is coming in 2017 as well, which marks the first time Google has ever built its own phone hardware — the company's Nexus phones have been built by partners like Huawei, LG, and HTC.
With six modular slots, each one is generic, so you can put any module in any slot. They're all linked up through new open standard called Unipro that can push 11.9 gigabits of data in both directions.
Modular smartphones have long been a dream, and while the "Friends" system in the LG G5 was a first step, the execution was somewhat uninspiring and it doesn't seem like it's going to really make a dent. Let’s see what Google is able to change.