Google Boots Up A Project Ara Prototype At I/O And It Lives!

There's probably a million and one reasons that skeptics can think of as to why Project Ara is doomed. And to be fair to the naysayers, the initiative certainly seemed doomed when Google sold its Motorola Mobility division to Lenovo for $2.91 billion earlier this year. But Project Ara lives, and though it remains to be seen if we'll be touting modular smartphones as early as next year, a semi-working prototype gives hope that Project Ara will reach the finish line.

Speaking at Google's I/O developer conference, Project Ara's technical lead Paul Eremenko decided to show what kind of progress has been made by demonstrating the first prototype capable of powering on. It was a somewhat rough presentation -- the device stalled during the boot sequence and subsequent attempts failed to boot past the Android screen -- but it's a start.

Project Ara Prototype

"Guys, this will be hard, but we're going to do it together," Eremenko said.

As we've detailed before, Project Ara is a work in progress that will evolve over time. At the outset, customizations on the user side will likely be limited to apps and software, and perhaps color options and maybe even textures for the different pieces. Give it time and we could be piecing together the entire thing.

There are obvious challenges to overcome, not the least of which is getting everything to work properly and consistently. However, there's also been a lot of talk about getting the price down to around $50, which in itself is a whole new challenge. Google seems committed to making Project Ara a reality, so we'll keep our fingers crossed that it gets everything figured out.