Google Teams Up With Toshiba for Project Ara Swap-Out Cameras

By Gerald Lynch on at

Phone cameras and megapixel counts are regular battlegrounds for smartphone manufacturers, but (as you'd expect from a device that's modular in almost every aspect) Google's Project Ara is taking a different tact. Rather than dropping the cash on a whole new phone in order to improve its snap-taking capabilities, Ara will let you swap out camera modules -- and Toshiba is the first manufacturer to show its off.

Still in development, Toshiba has three modules it's currently prepared to let the public see: a 2MP front facing unit, a 5MP rear and a 13MP rear. Each can be popped in and out of the phone as desired by the owner, opening up the possibility of different lenses for different shooting scenarios (think special modules for wide-angle shots or fish-eye snaps, for instance). The 5MP makes use of 1.4µm pixel size while the 13-megapixel camera opts for 1.12µm.

Google aims to have Project Ara out in the real world for testing later this year, with base boards set to sell for around £30. We went hands-on a little earlier this year and, while the concept still intrigues us, it's very much still a prototype product.