While Project Tango is already in the hands on developers in fully working form and will target everyday consumers in early 2015, Project Ara remains an extremely ambitious project that is still in the rather early stages. Of course, that doesn’t mean the Google ATAP team hasn’t made any progress.

During an ATAP session at I/O, Paul Eremenko talked a bit about Project Ara and the challenges that lie ahead, particularly touching on how Android will need to change to support how-swapping and will need a better class of drivers for Ara. Even more exciting, Eremenko booted Ara up — sort of.

While the device did get to the boot screen it ended up freezing 30 seconds in. Had things worked without a hitch it would have taken a full minute, which is much longer than your average phone, but still pretty solid progress considering.

There’s still a long ways until Ara is completely ready, but ATAP still remains devoted to the idea. In order to help push things forward, the Google team is offering an $100,000 bounty to any team that can make a working Ara module that can do something “current smartphones can’t do”. Quite a challenge, but again, that’s the main draw to Ara: it can be anything you want it to be.

What do you think, still excited for the future of Project Ara or do you think it’s more of a pipe-dream than anything?

Andrew Grush
Andrew is one of the three Managing Editors of Android Authority, primarily responsible for the overseeing of US team of writers, in addition to several other projects such as VR Source and more. He loves tech, gaming, his family, and good conversations with like-minded folks.