Google's Project Ara is one of the more interesting experiments in mobile phone land. The concept is a modular smartphone which starts with an aluminium endoskeleton the size of a normal handset with eight slots for plugging hardware modules in to.

These modules could take the form of anything from a new battery or camera to more specialist things like bio sensors and environmental monitoring technology and they can be swapped out and upgraded as needed without having to buy a whole new handset.

Now the MIT Technology Review has got a hold of a few new images of Project Ara. The one here being of the endoskeleton with its eight empty hardware slots, along with two front-facing slots for components such as a screen.

Google Project Ara
Plug me in (credit: MIT Technology Review)

A modular future

It's not much to look at yet, but there could be a lot of potential here, particularly for anyone sick of the one to two year smartphone upgrade cycle.

Google recently launched a video uncovering more details about Project Ara, and the team it has behind the development of the device - it's taking the concept very seriously.

This isn't the first time an idea like this has been attempted and it's always failed to gain traction in the past, but with the might of Google behind it things might be different this time, especially as the size and cost of smartphone components is now a lot smaller than it once was, making something like Project Ara somewhat viable at last.