project ara boot screen

We’ve been following Project Ara for a while now, but every time Google tries to show off its modular smartphone in public something goes wrong. During a Project Ara developer conference earlier this year the company failed to give a successful demo, and earlier today Google came close to booting up the device but again fell short. According to The Verge, the modular smartphone was unable to get past its boot screen without freezing during a Google I/O session on Thursday.

Still, that’s impressive for an entirely new type of smartphone that a small team at Google is building at breakneck speed. Project Ara is the company’s take on a modular smartphone, meaning all of its internal components can be swapped out and replaced on the fly. Google’s had to develop lots of new technology to make this dream a reality, including an entirely new type of battery, and project lead Paul Eremenko also notes that Android still needs to be tweaked to work on Project Ara smartphones.

Eremenko also took the opportunity to clarify his $100,000 developer challenge, offering the cash prize and a trip to the next Project Ara conference to anyone with a working modular smartphone that can do something entirely new. Google says it hopes to release a preview device for developers this fall, and the company has previously hinted it could launch its first consumer model in January 2015.