Shardul Kazi, Senior Vice President from Toshiba America shows off a module prototype.

Google's modular smartphone, dubbed Project Ara, has been in the pipeline for over a year at this point, and though it isn't yet ready to hit consumer shelves, it is far enough along to get an idea of what the eventual final product will offer. Several companies are on board to produce hardware modules for the modular phone, among them being Toshiba, which recently showed off its camera module prototypes.

The Project Ara smartphone is a simple handset with a revolutionary twist: rather than having embedded hardware that can’t be upgraded, it is built around hardware “modules” that slide into place. Users can swap out any of these modules for different versions, making it simple to upgrade when more powerful options are released.

The camera will be housed in one module, and as such users will be able to select the kind of camera they prefer. Someone who isn't inclined toward mobile photography, for example, can select a cheap and basic camera, while someone who is concerned about the quality of their mobile photographs can pick a better module. 

Toshiba is planning to offer several different camera modules. According to the recently unveiled prototypes, there will be a 5MP and a 13MP option, both using a CMOS sensor.

According to Toshiba America's SVP Shardul Kazi, the company will also be creating 8MP and 20MP modules, which were revealed in less detail. He hinted at ultra-slow-motion capabilities, as well as enhanced functionalities like NFC, external memory, TransferJet, and more. Development is being done in phases, with 2015 encompassing Phase 2 and Phase 3 slated for 2016.

Via: PetaPixel