You’ve got to hand it to Motorola, the smartphone maker does appear committed to its nascent modular smartphone offering. The company launched the Moto Z back in July, alongside four magnetic backings — a projector, a set of JBL speakers, a battery pack and protective casing.
Since then, the company has launched a Hasselblad zoom lens, a Mophie-branded battery and a car dock, with plenty more mods, including a Tango AR camera. Part of growing the system is making it accessible to third-parties by opening the hardware and, more recently, launching a series of hackathons.
The first one went down over the weekend in New York, with one happening in San Francisco next month. According to the company, there were 17 submissions by a total of 53 developers. A trio of winners were chosen from the first event, including Advanced Audio, featuring digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital converters designed to deliver improved audio to the smartphone listening experience.
The Sidepad concept might well be the most marketable of the three, delivering gamepad controls to the rear of the device. The third, Bella, leverages sensors to collect real-time data from the user’s skin to provide personalized beauty tips.
The winners from the two events will travel to Chicago to present their mod to Motorola in hopes of getting funding from Lenovo Capital to actually bring the thing to market.