Project Ara is an initiative by Google to develop a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. Users would be able to swap out hardware components such as the display, keyboard, or battery to keep their device updated with the latest technology. This would also allow for easy repairs, extending the lifetime of the handset.
In the video, we learn that Ara's team has developed a way to keep the modules in place using electro-permanent magnets. They've also decided not to hide the module/block aesthetic.
Google has planned a series of three Ara Developers Conferences throughout 2014. The first of these, scheduled for April 15-16, will focus on the alpha release of the Ara Module Developers Kit (MDK).
Take a look at the video below for more details on the project.