The whole point of Project Ara is to allow users to swap out different modules to upgrade their phones as they see fit. Maybe you purchase the device with a smaller battery and a 5-megapixel camera to keep the initial costs down, for example, but then realize a few months later that you’d rather have a larger battery and a bigger camera. When you have the funds, you jump onto Google’s marketplace and purchase the new parts. If all goes as planned, that’s as seamless as the experience is designed to be. Now, we’re getting a look at some of the first swappable camera modules.
The modules were developed by Toshiba and include three different options, including a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, a 5-megapixel camera for the back of the phone, and a 13-megapixel camera. The 13-megapixel shooter appears to have another sensor on board that looks similar to what Samsung uses for its heart-rate monitor, but we aren’t quite sure what it’s used for in this instance.
Google has denied rumors that it’s going to be showing off as many as 50 Project Ara modules at Mobile World Congress next month, but it’s possible the company will be there to meet with manufacturers that are developing modules. This is just one company – Toshiba – that has developed some of the first swappable parts, and we expect many more to follow suit at Google nears its beta launch in Puerto Rico.