Project Ara 3

Toshiba Shows Off First 5MP and 13MP Project Ara Camera Modules

February 16, 2015 - Written By Nick Sutrich

Project Ara is Google’s next big project that’s set to completely revolutionize the smartphone industry.  If you want a brand new phone there are of course tons of options out there, but you’re always limited to what each manufacturer decides is the best for the market at any given price point.  Some manufacturers offer more choices depending on how much you are willing to pay, however the end result is always what someone else thinks is the best device.  What if you were able to make your own phone though, and do it with hardly any effort at all?  That’s the idea behind Project Ara, and while it’s been sort of a pipe dream for some time now we’re finally seeing the first modules make their way into the limelight.

Toshiba is now officially the first manufacturer to show off a working Project Ara camera module.  This isn’t just one module either, there’s both a 5-megapixel and a 13-megapixel version set to blow the world away when they hit the first public testing phase later this year in Puerto Rico.  The 5MP module features fairly large 1.4 micron pixels, which allow the sensor to pull in a good deal of light and detail even though it’s a lower resolution sensor.  It’s also an ultra thin 6.4mm, meaning it’s definitely going to be flush with the body of your Project Ara phone.  The 13MP sensor features a more standard 1.12 micron pixels for a 13mp sensor, and while that lets less light in than the 1.4 micron pixels of the 5MP sensor the added detail makes up for that.  It’s also a hair thicker than the 5MP module, coming in at 7.1mm which may or may not protrude a little bit depending on what the final Project Ara shells look like.

Toshiba has set up a development site for those looking at more technical documentation of the sensors, which can be found at the source link below.  Project Ara is designed to allow users to easily and quickly swap out modules as they see fit, so if you’re in the market for a better camera but don’t want to replace your entire phone, Project Ara makes it easy to simply swap out the camera for a better one at any time.  This of course goes for any part of the phone, which is the entire idea behind Google’s incredible upcoming project.  Check out the video below to see the 5MP module in action.