The latest Project Ara prototypes are starting to look pretty impressive, but Google’s modular smartphone didn’t always take the sleek rectangular form we’ve seen emerge in the past few months. Early concepts for the device were a bit more out there, taking their inspiration from nature and with early sketches resembling the shape of a beehive.
The Next Web had a chance to sift through some of Google’s earliest concept sketches for Project Ara, offering a peek inside the creative mind of Gadi Amit, whose firm helped design the Fitbit Force, the Lytro light-field camera and more. “I could show you some crazy ideas we had at the beginnings,” Amit told TNW before handing over a stack of papers that could some day be priceless if Google’s take on modular smartphones turn out to be the next big evolution in mobile.
Project Ara is expected to launch in 2015, offering small, medium and large frames that can be customized with a potentially limitless combination of modules. Google will sell these frames, called Endos, directly to customers for around $50 each, while third-party manufacturers are expected to step in and offer everything else from swappable displays to cameras, batteries, processors and any other modules they can dream up.
We can’t wait to try out Project Ara for ourselves, though we’re still at least half a year away from the initial launch.