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Moto Z hackathons create more interesting Mods than Motorola

A breathalyzer is the Moto Mod we all deserve.
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The modular Moto Z was the tool of choice at the latest Motorola hackathon in San Francisco this past weekend. Developers and entrepreneurs took on the task of hacking the mobile phone with a variety of other hardware to come up with innovative add-ons. While available mods are thought of as too high-priced and non-essential, competitions like these show off some intriguing potential.

Projects at the latest event include a baby monitor with real-time notifications for things like room temperature, a color sensor that can emit sounds for people with visual impairments and -- from the winning team -- a solar-powered battery charger.

Many of the ideas at this weekend's competition were health-related. One team of high-school kids came up with the unfortunately named ModCoholic, a breathalyzer mod, that will ask if you want to grab a taxi when over the legal limit. The team won Honorable Mention for its submission. Another developer created Simple Syrup, a mod that allows diabetics to check their blood sugar.

The San Francisco event was just the latest location in a series of hackathons held across the globe, including New York, India and Buenos Aires. The next one happens in Shenzhen, China mid-March. The winning teams from each event will head to Motorola's headquarters in Chicago to present their ideas to industry leaders like Lenovo Capital, who might invest and fund promising concepts. If the Moto Z takes off like Motorola hopes, it's possible we'll see some of these inventive ideas on store shelves in the near future.

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Rob LeFebvre is an Anchorage, Alaska-based writer and editor who has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites. He has two teens, four dogs, a cat, a couple of life-partners and too many video game consoles. He plays guitar in a disco band, tries to write sci-fi novels and generally avoids the snow and cold as much as possible. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef and send him a taco once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.
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