Project Ara smartphone prototype demoed on stage at Google I/O
The Google engineer assembled the smartphone, turned it on, and then also added a camera module by sliding it in its slot on the back of the handset. To top off his demonstration, Camargo then proceeded to taking a photo of the crowd present at the Google I/O keynote.
Since assembling the smartphone seemed to be a seamless process, there's reason to believe that Google is making significant progress with Project Ara. Unfortunately, Camargo made no mention on when the project might finally launch to the public. Previous rumors suggested that Google will let the public test-drive the project later this year in Puerto Rico.
Project Ara brings a new idea to the smartphone market. Instead of dumping an old phone when a certain component is no longer satisfying the user, Project Ara will let customers replace individual components. Need a high-resolution camera? Just buy a new camera unit, slide it in and you're set to go without having to purchase another smartphone altogether. It remains to be seen if the swapping mechanism will find its way to customer hearts, but if everything works as smoothly as demonstrated today on stage, we wouldn't bet against it just yet.