Motorola launches a developer competition in hopes of inspiring more Moto Mods

The company is teaming up with Indiegogo and Verizon to for the campaign, with winners able to score funding for their ideas.

hasselblad zoom hero shot
Credit: Jason Cross

Moto Mods are the best example yet of what’s possible with a modular smartphone, but there hasn’t been the explosion of third-party hardware that Motorola was hoping for.

To remedy that, Motorola is trying out one of the most old-fashioned ways to inspire innovation: a competition.

From now through Jan. 31, 2017, anyone can submit an idea and potentially score a Moto Mod developer kit and Moto Z to use for creating an Indiegogo campaign. In March ten finalists will be selected to pitch their ideas directly to Motorola with a shot at funding and distribution agreements.

Outside of the first batch of mods—the Hasselblad Zoom camera, JBL Soundboost speaker, Insta-Share projector, and Incipio power pack—there hasn’t been a ton of new additions to the lineup. Motorola had already launched a Moto Mod developer kit to spur interest, but it looks like a more hands-on approach is required. You can check out our Moto Z review to get a little more background on the concept and what Motorola is trying to inspire.

Why this matters: If Motorola can’t get others to build mods, it doesn’t bode well for the future of this modular concept. Slapping new gear onto the side of the smartphone may just not be what people want to do, or perhaps there just isn’t enough money in the game. Google recently ditched a similar concept in Project Ara, finding that such hardware innovation just wasn’t what the public wanted.

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