The engineers behind Project Ara are trying to make the last smartphone you’ll ever need. Their design for a modular device has users slotting components — a camera, extra storage space, a Wi-Fi connector — into their phones, as and when they need them. It’s an ambitious scheme, but engineers working at NK Labs in Boston have already produced a working prototype, which they showed off to modular smartphone evangelist Dave Hakkens during a recent visit.
Still in its infancy, Project Ara still has a ways to go before it reaches a consumer release. Over the past few months, we’ve watch as more information surrounding the project continually trickled out, the most recent being a second round of Project Ara developer’s conferences slated for January in both the US and Singapore. Some might be surprised to know that although Project Ara runs Android, it isn’t actually an official Android project or even a Nexus device. In fact, it’s not even a Google project. This was made clear in Phonebloks’ latest blog post which clears up some confusion about their involvement in the project. The Ara team wants to make it clear that Dutch designer Dave Hakkens who came up with the Phonebloks concept we showed you guys awhile back is more of a community manager, creating videos and giving sneak peeks at Ara development.