Motorola’s magnetic Mods are the reason to own a Moto Z, and the company just pulled back the curtain on two more of them. If the existing bolt-on batteries weren’t big enough for you, a new 3,000mAh Mophie JuicePack (with a USB Type-C port for independent charging) is now available for $79.99. And since the holidays are nearly upon us — meaning lots of roadtrips to see family — Motorola also teamed up Incipio with on a $65 car dock that charges your Z and can be used to automatically launch apps like Android Auto. Keep your eyes peeled for this one next week.
Alright, fine: these new Mods don’t seem all that inspiring. We’ve seen similar battery add-ons in the past, and the car dock concept is one that has been thoroughly explored in the past. (Motorola, for what it’s worth, doesn’t seem concerned about support multiple Mods that do the same thing.) Practicality is great and all, but the beauty of Motorola’s modularity is how it can offer experiences wildly different from rival smartphones. One of Motorola’s biggest jobs going forward will to be nurture the kind of thoughtful weirdness that will make for Mods people didn’t know they wanted. Thankfully, that work is already under way.
Motorola partnered with IndieGoGo last month to solicit ideas from a community of ardent product nerds — so far the company has received close to 380 pitches, for everything from Moto Mod game controllers to YotaPhone-style e-ink displays to a “mood” case that change colors. Participants with the best ideas will move on to subsequent rounds of judging, ending in a sort of Shark Tank style event that should be rife with the requisite startup drama. The company’s first public hackathon is also set to take place in New York this month, and if it’s anything like similar internal events, we’re in for some weird, useful new Mods. A recent hackathon attended by Motorola employees has yielded a breathalyzer and a Mod with potential to alert parents on the status of their babies. While practicality is the name of the game with today’s new Mod announcements, stay tuned for weirder, wilder augmentations to come.