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Meet the Indiegogo "Transform the Smartphone Challenge" Finalists

For the last few months, developers and entrepreneurs have been busy sharing their ideas for creating the next generation of Moto Mods through our “Transform the Smartphone Challenge” on Indiegogo. In fact, we received more than 700 submissions from 55 countries and 30 states. Today, we’re excited to announce the finalists who received a Moto Mods Development Kit and a Moto Z and have already launched their crowdfunding campaigns. Be sure to check out the Moto Mods Indiegogo collection page regularly for the latest list as remaining finalists launch their crowdfunding pages.

So far, the Indiegogo campaign finalists have dreamed up ideas for Moto Mods ranging from wireless and solar chargers to smart home solutions, walkie-talkies and health monitoring devices. Visit the Moto Mods collection page to learn more and back the concepts -- this is your chance to be an early adopter and support the Moto Mods you want to see come to life.

Looking ahead, in early March, up to 10 grand prize winners will be chosen based on their campaign’s originality, commercial viability, overall use of the Moto Z modular platform and crowdfunding success. Grand prize winners and recent hackathon winners will receive a trip for two to Chicago to present their Moto Mod ideas to our executive development team. While in Chicago, they will receive mentoring and expert guidance from our Moto Mods development team. If they really impress the team, they may even get an investment from Lenovo Capital, which has set aside up to $1 million to help bring the best Moto Mods ideas to market. Investments will be made on terms proposed by Lenovo Capital, and are subject to due diligence and the eligible development team meeting Lenovo Capital's investment criteria.

Whether the concepts were submitted through Indiegogo by individuals and teams from around the world, or created as a result of our recent hackathon events, the Moto Mods ecosystem continues to uncover the limitless possibilities in mobile modularity.

Unlimited Possibilities: Moto Mod Innovation Goes Global

When we launched the Moto Z family of smartphones and Moto Mods, we opened up a new world of possibilities. We shared our commitment to innovation and engaging the developer community by giving them the tools, resources and inspiration to fuel the Moto Mods ecosystem while reducing the barriers to bringing great ideas to life. Since then, we’ve been hosting developer events around the world to support developers as they use our Mod Development Kit to come up with new Moto Mod concepts. 

As we travel the globe, we’re finding no shortage of creative ideas and prototypes for new Moto Mods. At an event we held in India, more than100 developers, engineers, students and partners came together to brainstorm new Moto Mod concepts and discuss how to bring them to life. During two recent developer hackathons -- the Campus Party hackathon in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the Mod the Future hackathon in San Francisco, CA (where three teams that had previously participated in our New York hackathon also attended) -- participants built prototypes of their concepts. Here are some of the top ideas:

Baby Care” – Gabriel Lucas Quispe Delgadillo (Buenos Aires)
Imagine a more restful environment for babies. This new Moto Mod concept provides automatic alerts when conditions aren't ideal for a child. For example, users will see real-time indicators about whether the temperature in the room is too hot, too cold or just right.

Moto Color” – Emanuel Lorenzo and Santiago Zoberman (Buenos Aires)
A color sensor for the visually impaired, Moto Color will emit a sound indicating whether the color being analyzed is red, blue or green. An alternative option would be for Moto Color to emit a vibration, which would vary in intensity depending on the color.

Solar-Powered Battery Charger” – Ivan Milutimovac (San Francisco)
This Moto Mod concept allows you to charge your Moto Z in sunlight. As opposed to current battery-charging devices on the market that require cables, this one is wireless and is expected to charge the phone to 100 percent in about 10 hours.

Simple Syrup” – Tal Golbus (San Francisco)
Monitoring blood glucose on-the-go can be a challenge. This concept tracks your blood sugar reading and was created for diabetics who need to carry large diabetes cases with them.

ModCoholic” – Adnan Ahmed, Afif Syed, Adil Bukhari and Marzuq Khan (San Francisco)
Created by a group of four high school-aged attendees and winner of the Honorable Mention, the ModCoholic concept is a breathalyzer that detects your alcohol level when you breathe into it. If it detects that you are over the legal limit, ModCoholic automatically asks if you need a taxi.

Coming Soon
The next developer hackathon will take place in Shenzhen, China in mid-March. And in the coming months, representatives from the winning hackathon teams will be invited to our headquarters in Chicago to present their ideas to industry leaders and discuss how to bring their Moto Mod concepts to market. If the concept impresses Lenovo Capital, they may receive investment funding. Additionally, winning teams will be entered into the Moto Mods Partner program and will be connected with a dedicated Business Development Mentor.

But Moto Mod ideas don’t just come from hackathons. Visit our Indiegogo “Transform the Smartphone Challenge” campaign to check out some of the other concepts we’ve received and help crowd-fund those you’d like to see come to market.

Magnifying Community Impact: Moto Dedicates Music Studio in São Paulo, Brazil

Our mission: to promote the social inclusion of low-income youth in Brazil through cultural entrepreneurship. The result? “Estúdio Moto” (Moto Studio) in Kemel, a community in the district of Poá, São Paulo.

Estúdio Moto – launching this month in partnership with Instituto Gerando Falcões (IGF) – will give 12 young, aspiring artists from the community a chance to record their music each year. IGF’s efforts are focused on providing education and resources to public school students through music and arts, with this idea born as a result of the IGF-sponsored “MCs of Education” project recently conducted in local public schools that uses rap and funk as teaching tools.

Each artist will also be able to participate in a workshop on social networks and entrepreneurship to learn how to promote their career, as well as training courses in cultural production to help establish a foundation for generating employment and income in their future.

“We wanted to create something that could change the lives and futures of young people in the community,” said Eduardo Lyra, the creator and leader of IGF. “Estúdio Moto is representative of the opportunities companies like Moto are generating to promote true transformation in communities around the world.”

In Brazil, we are excited to continue this partnership with IGF as part of our global commitment to improving lives and communities through the innovative use of technology and entrepreneurship.


Mod the Future Visits the Big Apple: Behind the Scenes at the NYC Hackathon

What do 53 developers, 18 entrepreneurs, three designers, one surgeon and a dog named Goose have in common? These eager participants (and K9) all gathered this past weekend for over 24 hours at the first Mod the Future Hackathon in New York City in a quest to create a winning Moto Mod concept for the Moto Z.

The outcome was the creation of some truly amazing new Moto Mods concepts. We saw initial ideas for a video paging Mod, a ‘Smart Cart’ retail shopping Mod and an emergency situation response Mod for consumers. We also heard about an insulin level monitoring concept and a water pollution testing Mod. Encouraging participants’ individuality to shine, these concepts speak to the core principles of Moto Mods -- continued innovation and unlimited possibilities for consumers. This is the future of mobile in an increasingly stagnant industry.

With teams and participants representing five different countries -- from the U.S. and Canada to Brazil, Latvia and Mexico -- the ideas presented at the hackathon were as unique and diverse as the participants themselves.

“It’s really exciting to think that I can take a piece of hardware, put it on my device, swap it out for something else and I don’t need an app to do it,” said participant and second place winner Aaron Franco.

24 Hours of Hacking
All of the wires, soldering irons and microscopes aside, hacking isn’t always so simple, especially when the sky truly is the limit.

The room was electric, yet calm and focused all at the same time. Energy drink cans covered tables and participants took quick power naps whenever they could, as teams of beginners and seasoned veterans alike worked to overcome challenges.

At the end of it all, 96 slices of pizza, 96 bagels and 128 energy drinks were consumed. More than 2,400 total man hours were put in, with 17 projects submitted by the deadline from participants ranging in age from 16 to 78. And after 45 minutes of judging, the top three Moto Mods concepts were announced.

Meet the Three Winning Concepts
“Advanced Audio” -- Curtis Mason, Andrew Afflitto, Mark Ayad, Abigail Brown and Yousef Alsayid
Using the USB MDK connection, Modio interfaces with a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and analog-to-digital converter (ADC) to provide audio input and output to the smartphone. This concept is hugely beneficial to musicians and audiophiles, giving the Moto Z HiDef audio ports (such as those found in recording studios and expensive speaker systems) that can transmit audio to applicable headphones/speakers in a much higher way than the standard headphone jack.

“This is crazy. I didn’t really expect this, but I know we all put in our maximum effort and it came together,” said Andrew Afflitto when they were announced as the winners. 

“Sidepad” -- Gabriel Ortiz and Aaron Franco
While playing games on smartphones is fun, the best gamepads are ones that are bigger than the mobile device and provide a more immersive experience. As a full-featured gamepad concept, Sidepad seeks to provide this enhanced experience for true gamers by adding gaming controls on the Moto Z (buttons versus touchscreen). According to Aaron Franco, it was “totally worth staying up all night.”

“Bella” -- Ally Cheung, Nancy Wan and Sylvee Lee
Bella is a skin care companion for your pocket that provides personal beauty and skincare tips. This concept allows Moto Z to collect real-time data from your skin and surrounding environment using built in sensors that examine factors such as UV levels, air quality, and if aimed at your face, skin elasticity levels.

“As modern women, we think it’s useful to be able to monitor our skin and stay youthful. It was such an amazing experience,” said Ally Cheung and Nancy Wan after learning they were in the winners circle.

Next Stop: San Francisco
This is only the beginning -- our next hackathon will be in San Francisco on January 21-22. The Grand Prize Winners of both the New York and San Francisco hackathons will receive a team cash prize of $5,000 and a Moto Z and Moto Mods Development Kit per team member. A representative from the winning team will also be invited to Chicago to present their ideas to a panel of Motorola leaders at Motorola’s headquarters and discuss how to bring their idea to market. If the concept impresses Lenovo Capital, they could even receive investment funding. Additionally, winning teams will be entered into the Moto Mods Partner program and be connected with a dedicated Business Development Mentor. Anyone who creates Moto Mod concepts during a hackathon will have the opportunity to participate in the Indiegogo campaign, as well.

For more information or to register for the Mod the Future Hackathon in San Francisco, visit modthefuture.com.

From New Releases to Hackathons, Moto Mods Gain Momentum

Six months ago, we took a stand against incremental innovation with our Moto Z family of smartphones and Moto Mods™ – and we’ve never looked back. Since announcing our developer program in June, more than 250 companies and developers have started working with our Moto Mod Development Kit. We’ve also received more than 360 submissions worldwide to participate in our collaboration with Indiegogo, which helps developers raise money and provides support to bring their ideas for future Moto Mods to life.

And we’re not stopping there. From new releases available today (see below) to 24-hour hackathons, we’re bringing you even more ways to innovate and customize with Moto.

NEW: Incipio Vehicle Dock
The Incipio Vehicle Dock Moto Mod is perfect for on-the-go folks looking for a more efficient way to get from point A to point B. It offers hands-free navigation and calling, audio integration and fast charging without the need to constantly connect and disconnect wires. Essentially, it’s the best co-pilot you’ve ever had. Features include:
  • Magnetic phone mount: Your phone is securely held in place by magnets, and ejects just as quickly with easy-release levers.
  • Hassle-free setup: The vehicle dock secures to the air vent and connects to your car’s audio system via Bluetooth - or connect an auxiliary cable to the 3.5mm jack on the dock.
  • Android Auto™ capability: Android Auto provides a simple and intuitive interface and powerful new voice actions. Make phone calls, or send and receive messages while keeping your hands on the wheel.
  • 15W fast charging: Built-in support for up to 15W fast charging means a 10-minute car ride can add hours of power to your day.*
NEW: mophie juice pack
Great for any phone addict who is always running low on battery life, the mophie juice pack Moto Mod features:
  • Extended battery: This fast-charging juice pack instantly gives your phone 60 percent more battery life.
  • Charges separately: A built-in USB-C connector allows you to fast-charge your juice pack even when it’s not attached to your phone so you’ll have a full battery waiting whenever you need to power up.
  • Efficiency mode: Use this Moto Mod’s efficiency mode, which helps you get up to 25 percent more battery life. It communicates with your phone and automatically starts charging when
    efficiency is at its peak.
In the U.S., the Incipio Vehicle Dock is available at Verizon for $64.99 and the mophie juice pack is available at Verizon for $79.99. Check with your local rep for pricing and availability information in other countries.

Moto Mod Hackathons
As previously announced, to support our developer community beyond providing the Moto Mods Development Kit, we’re hosting a series of hackathons to spur innovation. We recently hosted a hackathon in Argentina, in which 25 participants built their own Moto Mod concepts in 24 hours. The first hackathon in the U.S. takes place December 10-11, 2016, in New York – and it’s already at capacity. The next hackathon will be held in San Francisco in January 2017.

Click here for more information about how to attend a hackathon. Winners will have the opportunity to discuss their idea further with industry leaders at Moto HQ in Chicago and will potentially receive seed funding to bring their idea to market.

*Compatible vehicle power adapter and auxiliary cable sold separately. Requires download of Android Auto app from the Google Play™ store.

Moto Z and Moto Z Force: Now Daydream-Ready

Last month, we told you Android 7.0 Nougat would be making its way to several of our smartphones before the end of the year, including Moto Z. Well, we have some good news...the wait is over!

We’ll begin rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat globally to Moto Z and Moto Z Force this week. You can visit the Moto software upgrades page here for more details, including specific information by country and carrier.

But that’s not all. With the upgrade to Android 7.0 Nougat, Moto Z and Moto Z Force will be compatible with Daydream, Google’s platform for high-quality, mobile VR. These are the first smartphones from another manufacturer to be recognized by Google as Daydream-ready devices - a distinction given to phones that have been certified for the Daydream platform and are built for VR with
 high-resolution displays, ultra-smooth graphics and high-fidelity sensors for precise head tracking.

Daydream offers an unprecedented opportunity to dive into a kaleidoscope of experiences. With Daydream, you can explore new worlds, attend a sporting event or concert, enjoy your own personal cinema and so much more. To get started, you’ll need Google’s VR headset and controller - Daydream View - available at Verizon, Best Buy and the Google Store in the U.S. Check your local stores in other markets.

From the first mobile phone to shatterproof smartphone screens to seamless modularity with Moto Mods that expand what you can do with your smartphone, we continue to challenge the status quo to bring you the best mobile experiences. The possibilities with Moto Z are truly endless, not only with Moto Mods, but now with Daydream, too.

Transform the Smartphone Challenge: Moto Mods and Indiegogo

With Moto Mods you can transform your smartphone in a snap - and the possibilities are truly endless. So far, we’ve unveiled Moto Mods that turn your phone into a camera, a movie projector, a speaker, or an extra battery pack for when your juice gets low. And that’s just the beginning.

We know we can’t come up with every Moto Mods idea on our own, and real innovation doesn’t just happen behind closed doors. That’s why we shared the Moto Mods Development Kit (MDK) with the world, allowing people everywhere to contribute to the ecosystem by bringing their own Moto Mods to life.

But it doesn’t end there. We are invested in the future of the Moto Mods ecosystem and we want to empower developers to dream, build and fund their own Moto Mods. Over the next few months, we’ll be introducing new opportunities to help developers get involved.

Moto Mods Indiegogo Campaign
We’re collaborating with Indiegogo, the global platform for entrepreneurs to bring their ideas from concept to market. Now, developers will have the opportunity to raise money to bring their Moto Mods to life.

Today through January 31st, 2016 , enter our Moto Mods Developer contest. Share your best Moto Mods idea for a chance to win an MDK and a Moto Z. Finalists will be selected by our judging panel of industry leaders. Winners will receive a trip to Chicago to meet with our Moto Mods executive development team, where they’ll discuss how to bring their idea to life.

Check out the Indiegogo page for more info about the program, including official rules and regulations. Then, submit your idea for a chance to turn your Moto Mods dream into reality.

Moto Mods Hackathons
Additionally, we’ll be hosting Moto Mods hackathons in the U.S. to inspire developers to bring their ideas to life. The first hackathon will be in New York in December. Anyone who creates Moto Mods during the hackathon will have the opportunity to participate in the Indiegogo campaign as well. A second Moto Mods hackathon will take place in San Francisco in January. For more information and to register, visit modthefuture.com. The hackathon winners will be pre-qualified to receive a trip to Chicago to discuss bringing their Moto Mod idea to market.

Lenovo Capital
Finally, if your idea really impresses us, it just might land you an investment from Lenovo Capital, who has set aside up to $1 million to help bring the best Moto Mods ideas to market. Our Moto Mods executive development team will be on the lookout for the best working prototypes. If it finds something truly outstanding, the responsible development teams will be invited to pitch for investment funding from Lenovo Capital. Investments will be made on terms proposed by Lenovo Capital, and are subject to due diligence and the eligible development team meeting Lenovo Capital's investment criteria.

It’s really that easy. All you need is an idea, the passion to bring it to life and the financial support to drive a new era of mobile technology forward.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

N is for Nougat: Android 7.0 is coming to your favorite Moto phones

Are you ready for the sweetest OS update yet? It’s one that speaks your language (particularly if you speak fluent Emoji), offers the ability to seamlessly switch between apps with just a double-tap, more efficient notification controls and improved battery and data saver features.

We’re happy to confirm Android 7.0 Nougat is on its way to a lot of our smartphones, we’ll be starting in Q4 with Moto Z and Moto G (4th Gen).

Here’s the full list of our smartphones that will be getting Nougat:

Moto G (4th Gen)
Moto G Plus (4th Gen)
Moto G Play (4th Gen)
Moto X Pure Edition (3rd Gen)
Moto X Style
Moto X Play
Moto X Force
Droid Turbo 2
Droid Maxx 2
Moto Z
Moto Z Droid
Moto Z Force Droid
Moto Z Play
Moto Z Play Droid
Nexus 6

As always, you can visit the Moto software upgrades page here for more further details on specifics by country or carrier.

Moto Mods Development Kit: How you can create your own Moto Mod

With Moto Z and Moto Mods, we’ve opened up a new world of possibilities when it comes to what a smartphone is truly capable of doing. Moto Mods today allow you to turn your phone into a camera, movie projector or speaker, or snap on an extra battery pack when your juice gets low.

But this is just the beginning. We know there’s still so much more to be discovered. That’s why we also created the Moto Mods Development Kit (MDK), allowing you to contribute to the ecosystem and bring your own Moto Mod to life.

First introduced in the U.S., the MDK includes the same tools we’re using at Motorola to develop Moto Mods. Now, the MDK is available in China, Europe, South America and will be available in Canada on Oct. 5, giving more people around the world the opportunity to redefine the future of mobile.

Feeling inspired yet? Check out the video below to learn more about the Moto Mods Development Kit. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Visit developer.moto.com for more information.

Motorolans Give Back to Chicago during Annual ‘Motoserve’

Motorola Mobility Foundation -- Motorola’s charitable and philanthropic arm -- partnered with Chicago Cares for the third year in a row for “motoserve,” Motorola Mobility’s annual day of service in Chicago. Since 2014, motoserve volunteers have contributed nearly 5,500 hours of service through the annual event, in addition to the Foundation’s ongoing employee engagement programs.

Motorolans worked in four different neighborhoods to benefit Chicago Public Schools, senior centers and community organizations. Projects included improving school and community spaces, promoting health and wellness, distributing essential items to those in need, and more.

We’re proud of the commitment our team made to serving our local community. Some of the specific sites we focused on included:

  • Austin - Lorraine Hansberry Apartments: Spent quality time with senior residents while cooking and serving a meal, played Bingo and made fleece blankets.
  • Jefferson Park - Beaubien Elementary: Created and stained two planter benches, completed tile mosaics and canvas murals, and hosted a Kids Olympics in an effort to engage the students in exercise.
  • Douglas - Pershing Magnet School: Hosted a science fun fair to expose the students to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and gave the school a fresh look by painting 5 colorful wall and canvas murals throughout the hallways.
  • West Englewood - Earle STEM Academy: Added life to the building by painting classrooms, created wall and canvas murals, and hosted a science fair to spark students’ creativity.
  • Merchandise Mart - Motorola Mobility: Assembled 900 Hygiene Kits for Breakthrough Urban Ministries and Chicago Public Schools to benefit families transitioning out of homelessness. Assembled 100 Back to School Kits for Beaubien Elementary to help students prepare for the new school year.

“Motoserve” is part of a year-round, global series of volunteer programs offered by the Motorola Mobility Foundation to Motorola’s employees. Motorola Mobility Foundation, Motorola’s charitable and philanthropic arm, enables and drives innovation to improve the communities where we live and work. The Foundation’s mission is to catalyze the innovative use of technology to improve lives and communities. It does this by leveraging employee expertise and talent, providing funding, and partnering with nonprofits, learning institutions, startups, government, corporate and civic organizations.

Click here to learn more about the Motorola Mobility Foundation.

Photos by Monica Inglot

Skip the Sevens: Choose Real Innovation

When looking for a new smartphone, sometimes brand loyalty and habit get in the way of a better, more innovative choice. This often means a “new” phone that’s not very different from the old one.

Well, we believe different is better.

On September 12 we met with a few groups of Apple loyalists - not actors - to talk about a recent announcement and their reactions. We showed them some prototypes. But we didn’t tell them they were Moto’s until later. Check out the results.

The goal of our Skip the Sevens campaign is to get you to think about what you really want from a smartphone. It’s our challenge to you. To the industry.


Moto Mods Strut Their Stuff on the Runway at NYFW 2016 with Vivienne Tam

Versatility — it’s what the new Moto Z and Moto Mods are all about. Why settle for a standard smartphone when, with just a snap, you can also have a booming JBL sound system, an on-the-go projector, or an incredible zoom lens?

This spirit of self-expression is why we’re working with the iconic and ever versatile fashion designer, Vivienne Tam, at New York Fashion Week. Recognized throughout the fashion world by her intricate, colorful designs that draw inspiration from Chinese culture, creating a unique fusion of East-meets-West styles, Vivienne’s also developed a penchant for embracing technology in her runway shows.

On September 12, we’ll integrate the new Moto Z and Hasselblad True Zoom Moto Mod at the debut of her new Spring / Summer 2017 collection and on the runway. Want to take a piece of Vivienne Tam home with you? Follow @Moto_USA on Twitter for the chance to win a limited edition Vivienne Tam-designed Moto Style Shell not sold in stores.

Renowned fashion photographer Nigel Barker will shoot from the front row using the Moto Z Force with Hasselblad True Zoom Moto Mod, and YouTuber Ingrid Nilsen will give you an exclusive backstage view including an interview with Vivienne using the Moto Z. 

Be sure to follow Ingrid Nilson’s New York Fashion Week journey with Vivienne Tam and Moto on her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube channels. Nigel Barker will also be sharing his experience at the show with the Hasselblad True Zoom on his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.

The Moto Z family and Moto Mods are available now at MotoMods.com, and the Hasselblad True Zoom will be available on September 15.