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Meet Project Ara's amazing, top-secret, totally fictitious new phone modules

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Finally, a phone you can cover in your own cloned flesh

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Earlier today, we learned that Google's strange and beautiful Project Ara is facing some delays. Project Ara phones, which we first played around with in January, are designed on a model of near-total modularity. Instead of buying a whole phone, you start with a metal skeleton, then snap in blocks for the processor, camera, screen, and so forth. This theoretically accomplishes two things: it makes phones endlessly upgradeable, and it allows for whatever bizarre combination of features a user or third-party developer might desire.

Sadly, the few combinations we've seen are relatively quotidian, at least for a phone that you can turn into anything. I mean, two cameras? A USB charger? Some new sensors? That's it? This recent delay, though, gives us room for hope. What kind of new, mysterious modules might have thrown a spanner in the Google works?

Project Ara now isn't supposed to enter public testing until 2016 at the earliest, but some options — accessories, special coatings, and cutting-edge specs — seem so blindingly obvious that we're surprised Google hasn't announced them already. While the precise details remain unsettled, I've taken the liberty of reviewing a few of the most likely combinations below.

This is my next modular phone: