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Project Ara: Google reveals the first hundred beta testers, and five are from the UK

Google's Project Ara is gathering steam, and the first one hundred beta testers who will receive a phone have been announced by Google.

Project Ara is the modular smartphone we've been hearing about for some time now, whereby the user can build their own device from modules – as we've mentioned before, you can think of it as a LEGO phone, in crude terms.

The hundred people receiving a phone to test are the most active so-called Ara Scouts, in other words those who were the most avid testers with the DScout app, which was released mainly to gather data on how folks used their phones in daily life, Gigaom notes.

Over 90,000 scouts signed up since last autumn, apparently, and Google said: "Your passion and creativity were – and are – instrumental in turning an idea into a product."

The hundred lucky recipients are drawn from around the globe, with five of them coming from the UK.

The first Project Ara device is expected to be pushed out at the start of next year, though there's every chance of some slippage given that the Google I/O demo prototype apparently struggled to boot – and we're halfway through 2014 now.

Still, this is definitely something we're looking forward to seeing launched. The smartphone arena is getting a little stale in terms of innovation, so if nothing else it's good to see a radical new idea hopefully emerging before too long.