Motorola has big plans for the Moto Z and its accompanying Moto Mods as we move into 2017. Now with seven different mods offered for its Moto Z family of phones, Motorola senior vice president of product management John Touvannas suggested at a press event yesterday that a 5G mod could be in the pipeline. Obviously such a mod would be a while off, but launching a mod with 5G capabilities would mean that folks wouldn’t necessarily need to upgrade their phones to take advantage of faster networks.
Touvannas didn’t outright confirm that a 5G mod for the Moto Z would ever see the light of day. He did, however, signal that Motorola will look at ways to offer next-generation technology through these mods. “Without having to wait for the next-gen phone that can bring the next technology or capability, we can get to that quicker through the mod,” Touvannas said, as reported by PC Magazine.
With only seven mods officially available – and that includes two that were just recently revealed – Moto Mods are still in their infancy. Assuming the idea of a modular phone sticks, though, this kind of functionality opens a window to an entire world of possibilities. Here are a few Moto Mods we’d like to see for the Moto Z in the future:
1. A fold-out QWERTY keyboard
By now, most people are likely comfortable using touchscreen keyboards. While a fold-out keyboard would might have been more appreciated back when smartphones were just catching on, such a mod for the Moto Z could still come in handy. For instance, physical keys are never a bad thing, and the mod could give your phone some extra battery life. Pop a few USB-C ports on there and you’ve got a mod that offers quite a bit of extra utility by transforming your phone into a mini-laptop.
2. A game controller
The experience of playing mobile games with a controller can be hit or miss. Some manufacturers do it well, like NVIDIA with its SHIELD K1 tablet and controller, but it can be frustrating with some others. A mod that has physical controls for games and features a dock for your phone could be great, as it keeps your phone in place and puts all the action front and center. A mod like this would probably be a little on the bulky side, but if Motorola could pull it off, it would be an excellent addition to the Moto Mod lineup.
3. A bike mount
The latest round of Moto Mods include a car mount, so why not go one step further and offer a bike mount? Attach it to your bike to pull up a new interface that makes it easier to access things like GPS and music on the go. A more advanced version of this mod could theoretically allow you to control turn signals and even charge your phone as you pedal, though it would probably cost a lot of money and require some modifications to your bike. Still, it’s nice to dream, isn’t it?
4. An e-ink display
Remember the YotaPhone, which featured a traditional LCD on the front and an e-ink display around the back? It’s been some time since we’ve heard from the YotaPhone here in the US, but there’s no denying that the idea was neat. Motorola could adapt this idea for the Moto Z, offering a Moto Mod that adds an e-ink display to the back of the phone and allows users to save some battery while still having access to critical features. PC Magazine’s article suggests that Motorola is looking into an e-ink mod, so this one seems to have the best chance of one day existing.
Some of these ideas are more realistic than others, but in launching Moto Mods, Motorola has created a platform that can offer a lot of flexibility. We’ll just have to sit tight and see what Motorola unveils in 2017. In the meantime, head down to the comments section and let us know what kind of mods you’d like to see for the Moto Z.