TECH

Project Ara 'Modular Smartphone' Makes Progress In Google's Latest Update

04/04/2014 11:18 BST | Updated 04/04/2014 11:59 BST

Every time we write about Project Ara, the Google-backed attempt to make a modular smartphone, it reads like science fiction. But it's really happening - at least in the lab - and now Google wants to remind you why you wanted one in the first place.

In a new video tour of its offices, the Phonebloks team -- a company who worked with Motorola on the concept, which Google incorporated into its own structure before it sold the rest of the company to Lenovo, phew -- tells us where they're up to.

The clip includes looks at an early version of the 'endo' skeleton, into which the various parts of a phone will eventually slot, so you can remove and replace them at will. There are several sizes and types, too, which means you could eventually customise the size of your phone depending on what you're doing. We also see in the clip how magnets hold the bits in place, and how casing designs can be swapped out and customised.

Engadget has more details, but the video tells you virtually everything you need to know. Except for when and how you'll actually ever be able to buy one. We should learn a little bit more about the system's potential at the first dedicated developer's conference later in April.