Motorola: 'Mod' Adds-Ons Could Take Our Phones to 5G

...

CHICAGO—Motorola is stepping up the pace on its "mod" add-ons for the Moto Z line of phones, with e-ink displays, a baby monitor, and even a Verizon 5G modem being outside possibilities, John Touvannas, senior director of product management said at a press event today.

"Without having to wait for the next-gen phone that can bring the next technology or capability, we can get to that quicker through the mod," he said.

For now, though, Motorola is rolling out two mods soon: a 3000mAh Mophie battery pack, now available from Verizon, and an Incipio car dock with charging and a 3.5mm audio output, coming soon.

In a year where we saw several attempts at "modular" phones, Moto's is the only one that actually took off. Google's Project Ara was cancelled, the LG G5's "friends" concept never really developed, and ZTE's modular concept phone stayed a concept. But the Moto Z has rolled out five mods so far, including batteries, a projector and a camera (pictured above), and these two new ones make seven.

Half of Moto Z owners are using mods, with 20 percent of those using the costly projector and camera mods, Touvannas said. Motorola's research shows that mods are the top reason people are buying the phone. "It's the No. 1 driver by quite a bit," he said.

The mods aren't staying in drawers, either. Battery mods are used on average 37 hours a week, and the projector is used 10 hours a week, according to user data.

Now Motorola is really trying to push a third-party ecosystem and to make the mods available for more phones. While the mod platform currently only works on the Z lineup, the mod idea could run down into Motorola's more affordable devices in the future, Touvannas said.

The company is running hackathons and an Indiegogo campaign to generate new mods, and it's seen more than 380 submissions so far. Alarm clocks, e-ink screens, game controllers, keyboards, walkie-talkies, and a kinetic charger are all in play, said Stephen McDonnell, director of the Moto Mods ecosystem.

Mods can access direct display interfaces, talk to the image-processing unit in the phone, or communicate via USB 3.1, which would be fast enough for that 5G radio.

"I think you're going to see more [mods] next year than you did this year," Touvannas said.

Look for more news about about 2017's potential Moto Mods at CES next month.

Categories
APPLICATIONS
0 Comment

Leave a Reply

Captcha image


RELATED BY

  • 5300c769af79e

    Nextbit Robin Gets a Nougat Beta With Help From Paranoid Android

    The company announced the Nougat beta today through a community forum post, even mentioning that the update should be live for current beta participants.Members of Paranoid Android, the popular ROM, actually helped the Nextbit dev team to create a “faster, less power-hungry OS” and push out Nougat this quickly.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Is Google Home Ready for Your Family?

    As it positions its Google Home as a flexible virtual assistant, it doesn't seem to know what to do if a Google home is full of different people with different tastes.If you don't like it, don't buy a Google Home.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Weekly Rewind: How to become a cyborg, super strong iPhones, and more

    T-Mobile now has fastest LTE download speeds of four big carriers, study shows For a long time, T-Mobile has been on the lower end of the big four carriers in terms of connectivity and speed.The Un-carrier has come a long way — it now rates the second highest in customer satisfaction, and offers the fastest LTE downloads in the U.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Verizon Caves, Launches New Unlimited Data Plan

    The company on Sunday announced its own unlimited smartphone option while keeping alternatives open for lighter data users.After 22 MB of data usage, Verizon may "prioritize" customers in the event of network congestion.