Google plans to launch a pilot of its ambitious Project Ara modular phone in the United States next year, the company announced via Twitter Monday afternoon.
The idea of Project Ara is to create a mix-and-match smartphone where owners could buy and replace parts individually, instead of needing to buy a completely new phone every year or two. For example, you could buy the phone’s battery, camera, speaker, and screen all separately.
In January, Project Ara said it would start testing in Puerto Rico, but those plans seem to be on ice for now.
Project Ara got started within Google’s Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) lab back in 2013. Generally, ATAP projects are held to strict two-year launch deadlines, but ATAP boss Regina Dugan indicated at a conference in January that Project Ara could warrant more time.
Here’s the full series of tweets, which started on Friday and continues today: