Google's modular Project Ara phone concept will get publicly tested by 100 members of the public through a program called Ara Scouts. The modular phone experiment was born out of Google's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team and now it seems that 100 members of the public will be receiving an early prototype to test, use, and provide Google with feedback on how to improve Ara before it gets released commercially sometime early next year.
Though the 100 Ara Scouts winners were selected, at this point it's unclear when their prototypes will ship and when they will actually be able to hold the phones in their hands. To be selected, Ara Scouts competed in missions, with the most active participants being selected. Describing the program, Google says:
After 9 missions with participation from over 30K people across 111 countries, we're bringing the Ara Scouts program to a close. As many of you may have seen at our recent Google I/O presentation, the team's focus over the next 8 months will be to bring our functional prototype into reality. We'll be reaching out to our 100 most active Ara Scouts soon, letting them know that they'll be among the first to get an Ara phone outside our team.
Project Ara is initially slated for a January 2015 launch, but the 8-month window that's stated with the close of the Ara Scouts program suggests that the launch date may now be postponed to March 2015.