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Google gives peek at its Ara modular phone project

Meet some of the folks at Google's advanced-tech team working to design phones you yourself can build. Watch them snap pieces together!

Project Ara's team uses electro-permanent magnets to keep phone modules in place. Google/Screenshot by CNET

Google is offering a quick glimpse into a future in which you'll be able to build your own phone.

The software giant released a short video to introduce some of the members of its Advanced Technology and Projects group, the folks behind Project Ara.

The idea of a modular phone is seen as a potential next step in the evolution of smartphones, bringing personal customization of mobile devices to a new level and potentially remaking the industry itself. For now it remains an idea, with many technical and practical hurdles to overcome.

It's been the subject of intense interest since it was unveiled as the possible next leap from Motorola's heavily customizable Moto X. The ATAP group is remaining with Google even as Lenovo buys the rest of Motorola Mobility.

The video offers only brief glimpses into what a modular phone may look like, but does include interesting tidbits like the team's plans to use electro-permanent magnets to keep the components together, with the pieces secured through a burst of a charge.

There are also some renderings that flash by as you're introduced to other team members, and a hint of just how many individual modules you can fit into one phone.

Google plans to hold its first Ara developer conference on April 15.

Google shares rose 0.8 percent to $574 in premarket trading this morning.

(Via Engadget)