Lenovo has officially launched their moddable phone platform, the Moto Z in the US, with the Moto Z and Moto Z Force Droid Editions now available at Verizon. While Lenovo hasn’t announced availability for Australia, they have announced that the Moto Mod Development Kit (MDK) is now available – at least in the US.

The launch of the MDK is tied to a competition that Lenovo is running to hopefully spark interest from third-party accessory makers. The competition will result in a $1 million prize, an investment really that will help the successful maker bring the Moto Mod to market.

To win the prize you need a working prototype and that’s where the MDK comes in, but the bad news is that it’s only available in the US through Element14, at least for now.

The MDK consists of a single blank Moto Mod housing as well as a Perforated Board which Lenovo describe as the ‘primary vehicle for development of your MDK Project’. As well as the perforated board, a HAT Adapter Board can be purchased separately (for $40USD) to let you use existing Raspberry Pi HATs with the MDK.

The MDK will cost $125USD and includes the Perforated Board, as well as rear housing to carry your prototype around and the microprocessor. Spec List of the MDK:

  • Mechanical and Electrical Interface to enable connection with Moto Z
  • Moto Mod Microprocessor (MuC) with 96k ROM and YY memory
  • Moto High Speed Bridge
  • µUSB-B port to connect tUSB 2.0 or myDP devices
  • USB-C port to connect USB 3.1 devices
  • Second USB-C port for firmware debug
  • 80 pin Personality Card connector exposing all developer interfaces

Developers can get a headstart by purchasing a ‘Personality Board’ which Lenovo has created to show a few examples of how the mods can be used. There’s an Audio ($40USD), Battery ($40USD), Display ($75USD) and Temperature Sensor ($40USD) Personality Boards to choose from to spark some ideas.

There’s all the information including software and links to GitHub repos for software development available on the Moto Mods Developer portal, you can head over and register as a developer now, but you’ll have to wait to see if the MDK comes to Australia.

Lenovo hasn’t announced when the Moto Z will launch in Australia as yet, they have a nice, shiny new online store to sell both the phone and the mods through, so hopefully we’ll see them soon.

Source: Motorola.