Toshiba just previewed prototypes for some of the first third-party Project Ara modules.
Toshiba, who has partnered with Google on the modular smartphone project, recently unveiled three new camera modules for the latest prototype.
The cameras include 5MP and 13MP rear-facing camera and a 3 MP front-facing camera. The 13MP module has a bright mode and high frame rate capabilities, making it not that far off from the flagship-level components Google promised during the last developer conference for Project Ara.
The update comes as Project Ara, Google’s ambitious plan to create a modular smartphone platform, is closer than ever to making it out of Google’s labs and into the hands of consumers. Ara prototypes are made up of a shell and a series of swappable modules that allow individual components like the camera or processor to be swapped out independently of the rest of the handset.
Toshiba’s new modules are for the second version of the prototype, the Spiral 2, unveiled at January’s Project Ara developer conference. Google’s plan is to create one more prototype, the Spiral 3, before making the phones available in Puerto Rico.
The first Ara units will be available for sale in Puerto Rico next year where Google will sell the phones out of foodtruck-style mobile storefronts while gauging the response to the new Android-based smartphones. The goal is to eventually make several dozen third-party modules, including Toshiba’s, available to consumers.
The company hasn’t commented on a timeline for a commercial rollout beyond Puerto Rico.