BlackBerry Fans Will Love Motorola's Latest Moto Mod

You’ve got to hand it to Motorola. The company promised a steady stream of new Moto Mods for its Moto Z family of smartphones, and it’s kept the streak alive with a variety of quirky, unique, and practical add-ons, from a Polaroid camera attachment, to a dedicated gamepad, to a wireless charging-enabled back shell.

At CES, it’s unveiled another pair of Mods – one of which should please the BlackBerry faithful.

The first is a QWERTY keyboard made by a company known as Livermorium. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Livermorium developed a prototype keyboard Mod for Motorola’s Transform the Smartphone challenge last year.

The competition, co-organized by Indiegogo and Verizon, saw pitches from a variety of inventors and startups, with the winners receiving distribution support and capital to the tune of a $1 million investment. Livermorium’s keyboard received some of the most buzz of any of the projects, so it’s good to see it reach the finish line.

The keyboard has five rows of keys and slides out from the back of the phone at an angle up to 60 degrees. The keys are backlit, and even have an Fn function for alternative commands, like play and pause for music, or voice search. It will retail for $99, comes in three colors (black, silver, and gold) and begins shipping later this month.

The second Mod is a bit of an unusual one, but nevertheless could be very significant to a certain subset of owners. It’s a health-tracking device developed in a partnership between Motorola parent company Lenovo and a healthcare firm known as Vital. Appropriately called the Lenovo Vital Moto Mod, it’s capable of measuring blood pressure, core body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and pulse oxidation.

Of course, it’s not a slim piece of kit – but then again, this isn’t something you’re going to carry around attached to your phone at all times. Vital claims its readings are thoroughly accurate and typically take less than three minutes to deliver, while temperature is gathered in just two seconds. The blood pressure measuring system in particular is noteworthy, as the Mod doesn’t need an armband to conduct the test. You simply stick your finger through a ring, and its array of sensors handles the rest.

The Lenovo Vital Moto Mod sends all the data it collects to vital’s cloud servers in a HIPAA-compliant format, which means you’re able to easily share it with your healthcare provider. There’s will also be a companion app, available across Android and iOS, so that the same information is visible on your other devices. The Mod arrives in April for $395. For more information on all the Moto Mods currently available on the market, check out our guide.

Photo Credit: Andrew Freedman/Tom's Guide

Adam Ismail is a staff writer at Jalopnik and previously worked on Tom's Guide covering smartphones, car tech and gaming. His love for all things mobile began with the original Motorola Droid; since then he’s owned a variety of Android and iOS-powered handsets, refusing to stay loyal to one platform. His work has also appeared on Digital Trends and GTPlanet. When he’s not fiddling with the latest devices, he’s at an indie pop show, recording a podcast or playing Sega Dreamcast.