Project Ara, Google's quest to create a modular smartphone, has received two significant boosts. Toshiba has revealed a trio of camera modules that can be inserted into the back of the smartphone and exchanged for other modules, while smartphone manufacturer Yezz has confirmed it will be creating its own modules for the project, with its first modules set to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress.
So far, Toshiba has been developing just three camera modules so far, according to Petapixel. The early designs include a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, accompanied by two rear-facing versions including 5-megapixel and 13-megapixel sensors. Toshiba has been able to get the camera modules working with the Ara smartphone system, though the company is not stopping there. In 2015, it hopes to create modules using TransferJet technology, WPC and NFC modules, and one for storage, while the third phase in 2016 will involve the creation of "unique modules."
Yezz was apparently approached by Google to be one of the first manufacturers to create Project Ara modules, reports CNET. While it has created "around 100" prototypes, the functionality of the modules has not been revealed, though a dedicated site with a countdown clock will likely provide more information during Mobile World Congress itself.
Google is expected to launch a pilot scheme for Project Ara in Puerto Rico, and is aiming to make a basic version of the Ara hardware cost in the range of $50 to $100. Extra modules will be available to buy, with Google previously touting a high level of customization when it comes down to the individual modules' appearance.