Toshiba Project Ara camera modules revealed

project ara cameraToshiba has shown off a pair of new camera modules designed to fit in to Google’s modular smartphone, currently named ‘Project Ara’.

I’ve been keeping an eye on Project Ara since it was PhoneBloks with the last working prototype reportedly being named Spiral 1.

It appears that there are a number of third party manufacturers wanting in on Project Ara or Gray Phone, one of which is Toshiba.

Tosh has outed two versions of its Ara camera modules – a 5 megapixel and a 13 megapixel one. These cameras can be swapped in and out of the handset, allowing for easy upgrades.

Toshiba’s two camera modules are rear facing but the company is working on a two megapixel camera for the front of the device.

toshiba camera modulesWe should be seeing early versions of many modules soon as Project Ara is due to launch in select markets later this year, which will help Google work out how it wants to approach the ambitious project.

However, while Project Ara is due to go out for a test drive this year, it’s thought that Spiral 2 will be out and about during the Project Ara developer’s conferences which Google has planned for January, Toshiba’s cameras won’t be showing up until 2016, according to their development plan.

Toshiba’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Shardul Kazi, has hinted that the company’s own modules could cost anywhere between £30 and £300 – well, that certainly allows for quite a range of modules to be made available in the future.

Project Ara’s main selling point is the ability to pick and choose your own parts, effectively designing your perfect smartphone. I am still interested, are you?