Fast Company's John Brownlee takes a look at Google's Project Ara, which was first introduced as a lego-like modular system for building smartphones called Phonebloks in 2013.

The product aimed to make it possible to switch out the parts of a phone that were important to the user, such as a better camera or more memory. This year, the Project Ara team told Fast Company that the concept has been realigned from an upgradeable consumer smartphone into a modular computing platform.

Instead of an upgradeable smartphone, Project Ara has shifted into a smartphone with modular expansion slots, for things like speakers, cameras, secondary e-ink displays, and more. You'd plug and unplug these modules on a daily basis as you need them, and while they'd soup up your smartphone's capabilities, none would be crucial to the operation of your smartphone.

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