Phonebloks show off working prototype of Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone

Phonebloks show off working prototype of Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone

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It’s been a while since we heard anything from Google’s Project Ara, a modular and fully customisable block-by-block smartphone, but now Phonebloks have published an update video over on their Youtube channel. The latest video takes the project to Boston where they visit NK Labs, a company that specializes in fabricating concepts into working prototypes, and they have now reached working prototype stage.

[Image Source: PhoneBlocks]

The team took the vast amount of research collected by Google and brought the concept to working prototype stage. Their first prototype features blocks for an LED module, battery, processor, loud speaker, and usb charging port, but unfortunately, approximately 50% of the space is taken up by the modular components.

However, the second prototype which will be called Spiral 2 is already under construction and thanks to custom fabricated chips by Toshiba, they say that the space for more modules has been drastically improved. This will give more room for developers to play, as the idea is to allow 3rd party modules to be built using the Ara Module Developers Kit (MDK).

Although it’s been a while without any updates, there is definite progress here compared to the last prototype we saw which couldn’t load past the Android OS boot screen. The Spiral 2 prototype will be unveiled at Project Ara developer conferences on the 14th of January in the United States and Europe and January 21st in Asia Pacific.