Google unveils Project Ara modular smartphone prototype

The first working prototype of Google’s Project Ara smartphone has been revealed.

Six months after the design was unveiled, a video has appeared online that shows an engineer turning on and using the device.

Project Ara aims to enable users to create a modular smartphone that they can tailor towards their functional and aesthetic preferences.

It consists of an endoskeleton, or “endo,” a structural frame that also serves as the data backbone of the device. You can then insert the endo with different “modules” that make us the phone’s functionality and features. For example, you can choose which camera you want your phone to have, add a new battery when your current one runs out, fit a USB port or even update to a better processor.

The modules can be easily and safely inserted and removed at any time, even while the device is turned on, and also have replaceable covers or “shells,” so that you can customise how your phone looks as well.

The first prototype, dubbed Spiral 1, can be seen in action in the video below, and Spiral 2 will will be unveiled at a developer’s conference on 14 January. For more information about Project Ara, visit the website.

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