After a few delays, it looks like Google’s much-hyped Project Ara modular smartphone is almost ready to ship. The device will be out for developers to try sometime this fall, while consumers will be able to get their hands on it at some point next year.
To celebrate the news, the search giant has created a new promo video for Project Ara. It obviously plays on the Ara’s modular strengths, though it looks like some of those small modules are actually going to be pretty easy to lose.
According to a report, around 30 people inside Google are already using Ara prototypes as their primary phones. The company says it now has “all the key components of the platform”. The developer edition will come with a 5.3-inch screen and will run Android, as you’d expect from a Google-made handset.
Partners that are already working on modules for Ara include Panasonic, TDK, iHealth, E Ink, Toshiba, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and Samsung. There will be six swappable modules on the back, all using the same connector so anything goes anywhere. Ejecting modules is fully controlled by software, meaning you can even say something like “OK Google, eject the camera” and that’s what will happen.
One thing to note, however, is that the “phone technology” isn’t part of any module, instead having been integrated into the frame. This means you probably won’t be able to swap out the chipset, battery, or display, at least not with the first-gen Ara.