Google hopes to launch its ‘build-it-yourself’ Project Ara smartphone next year and in preparation, the technology giant is accepting applications for its first development boards.

With these, developers can begin prototyping and constructing their own modules for the Ara platform. With the open-source MDK released during Google I/O, these could be cameras, antennas, batteries, processors – anything that can latch on to the Project Ara module shell.

As Eduardo Ruiz points out on Google+, yesterday developers were told that Google is now accepting applications for its Project Ara test boards. A request form is available online and the first round of applications will close in two days’ time (July 17). Only one application per company is allowed and Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria are currently excluded from the scheme.

If approved, Google says the dev boards will ship “starting in late July.” If you miss out on the current round – the deadline is fast-approaching – the second review period will run from July 18 to August 17.

For Project Ara to live up to its potential, Google needs third-party hardware developers to embrace the platform. If you weren’t convinced already, it seems the company is pretty serious about bringing its modular smartphone to market.

Read Next: Behind the scenes: How beehives inspired the design of Google’s innovative Project Ara smartphone10 things you need to know about Google’s Project Ara modular smartphones

Google+ | Request Form [Via PocketNow | Engadget]