Toshiba is giving us a glimpse at a future where you could pick and choose the camera you want on your smartphone.
The company recently showed off three different camera prototypes at the Modular Phones Forum that will be used with Google’s Project Ara. The modular smartphone initiative launches in Puerto Rico as a test market later this year. It’s the first time we’ve seen a hardware maker show off a working camera module piece for Google’s grand experiment in customizable phone hardware.
Toshiba unveiled 13MP or 5MP back camera options and a 2MP front-facing choice. The modules are still in the works as part of a development plan that would get them out the door in 2016.
This means we could see them in action with Google’s rollout of its Project Ara test. Now that Toshiba has showed its hand, we’ll be on the lookout for other companies to spill a little more about about parts for Project Ara phones.
The story behind the story: Project Ara is Google’s effort to rethink how we buy smartphones. Instead of just perusing phone models, you could piece together a customized phone by picking out the camera, storage, and other key pieces. You could upgrade individual components of your phone, instead of throwing out the whole thing to start over. We’ll be watching the launch in Puerto Rico later this year to see if this turns into something that goes mainstream or lands in the Google graveyard of shuttered projects.