During the ATAP keynote at Google I/O, Google engineer Rafa Camargo demoed a functioning Project Ara smartphone. Project Ara, which was announced last year, is a modular smartphone system that lets you swap out components such as a processor, camera, battery, and more without having to purchase an entirely new phone. Camargo built a phone by sliding modules into a frame, turned it on, then added a camera module and took a picture of the audience.
Project Ara’s components have been shown off before, but this was the first time Google built the phone as part of a live demonstration. Camargo did not provide much more info about the status of Ara beyond the demo, but the project is expected to begin a pilot test in Puerto Rico later this year where the public will presumably be able to try it out.