Everybody from hardware startups to DARPA is pumped about Google's modular Ara phone—when it finally gets here. The device and its hot-swappable hardware is supposed to come out at some point next year, but so far, videos of the neat little thing in action are fairly rare. Luckily the geniuses at Phonebloks like to share.


Phonebloks has been working on a modular smartphone concept for years and is working with the Google/Motorola team on Project Ara. And as the above video shows, they're making great progress developing a fully functional prototype. You can clearly see how easily the different types of modules click into place and the phone boots up in seconds, a little miracle when you think about how far smartphone technology has come.

So it's entirely possible that an Ara phone you can actually buy is closer than you think. It's possible, but it's far from guaranteed, especially since the world remains skeptical about the ambitious project after the first prototype failed to boot up when it was announced. But it looks like Google's made some progress, and the third design "spiral" is set to be released in January 2015, with a consumer version to follow—maybe. No word yet on when the Army's (hopefully camouflaged) version will hit the battlefield, though. [Phonebloks]