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Google teases new Project Ara ahead of January reveal

Google has just unveiled the main printed circuit board of its new Project Ara prototype.

We’re not due to see the new Project Ara proper until Google’s Module Developers Conference next month, so this is the best we have for now.

The new board, dubbed ‘Spiral 2’, was posted to Google’s ATAP-team Google+ account.

We’re getting excited and hope you are too,” read the post. “So excited in fact, that we wanted to give you a sneak peek at one of the new Spiral 2 PCBs hot off the SMT.”

If all of this means very little to you, here’s the basics: Project Ara is an in-progress Google smartphone that comes with hot-swappable modules, meaning you can trade out parts with relative ease.

Google is looking to get OEMs on board to build modules for the device, so that consumers have a greater range of parts to choose from – think camera, fingerprint sensor, and display modules.

We’ve already seen one prototype for the device earlier this year, but the second one should be a lot closer to what we’d expect from an eventual consumer rollout.

Spiral 2 will be the main update in Google’s v0.20 Module Developers Kit, although Google declined to offer much in the way of details about its new chip.

Google will show off its new kit on January 14 in its Mountain View, CA hometown.

There’s also going to be a later – but similarly themed – event on January 21 in Singapore.

Concurrent events are also planned for multiple locations worldwide, including Buenos Aires, London, New York, Bangalore, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo.

Should you find yourself unable to make it to any of these locations, Google has also vowed to live-stream the entire event from Mountain View and Singapore for free.

Project Ara’s marketplace could also get a look in at the event, with the module store set to have its own dedicated app developed by Two Toasters.

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