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April 21, 2017

Here are the winners of Motorola’s ‘Transform the Smartphone’ mod competition

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Some of these innovative, independently developed designs will likely feature in the next wave of mods for Motorola’s flagship smartphone.

It’s been a long road, but Motorola’s Transform the Smartphone Challenge has finally produced some winning designs. The competition, which saw independent developers build their own Moto Mods to present to Lenovo in the hopes of earning capital or distribution support, has culminated in a meeting at Motorola’s Chicago headquarters.

Two teams were chosen to receive up to $1 million each in funding: Digiframe and Macay TrueSound HiFi.

Digiframe offers a built-in epaper display, functioning as a second screen for information like notifications, traffic, and weather when the phone is turned upside down. The developers have ensured the platform adheres to open standards, meaning anyone can build widgets for it. And because the shell is magnetic, like all Moto Mods, you can even stick it to your fridge for a dynamic sticky note.

Macay is a mod built for audiophiles and musicians, that features high-definition input and output ports typically only found in studios and professional equipment.

These projects join a host of other pitches that are now part of the Moto Mod Accelerator Program. For these applicants, Motorola will help match the designers and developers with manufacturers who can bring their products to fruition. The company says this is a “hands-on process” that will “help guide participants from start to finish.” Ultimately, the projects that complete this program will be distributed by Verizon.

Among these pitches were the wireless charging shell, sliding QWERTY keyboard, and LED notification strip mods we’ve previously reported on, as well as another featuring a solar panel that can charge the Moto Z using the sun’s rays.

Motorola is encouraging all developers who didn’t make it to the next step to continue to use its development resources and work with Indiegogo, which has set aside resources alongside partner Arrow Electronics to help technology campaigns make it to production.

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