Last month a company going by the name of Livermorium Ltd. entered the spotlight on Indiegogo with a physical QWERTY Keyboard Mod for the Moto Z, and yesterday the firm revealed that it has constructed the first functional prototype unit which will be shown to both Lenovo and Verizon Wireless in Chicago on Wednesday, April 19. The QWERTY Keyboard Mod is one of the 50 products participating in the Transform the Smartphone Challenge, and it's also one of the ten products chosen by Lenovo and Verizon Wireless who agreed to inspect it further.
Back when physical QWERTY keyboards were more popular in the smartphone world, Motorola was among the only Android smartphone manufacturers to create high-end devices equipped with physical keyboards like the Motorola Droid 4. Today, physical QWERTY keyboards are a rare sight in the market and the only major manufacturer still willing to explore this concept is BlackBerry. However, startup Livermorium might put the Motorola brand back on the QWERTY map with its Moto Mod, which is designed to attach to the back of the Moto Z and offer a full QWERTY or AZERTY slide-out keyboard similar to the Motorola Droid 4. The mod also includes its own 2,100mAh battery which should increase the smartphone's battery life considerably, and the slide-out design allows for usage in both landscape mode and tilted mode at 45 degrees. The Moto Mod keyboard has been launched on Indiegogo last month and at the time of writing the project raised $47,171 from a total of 639 backers, i.e. 47 percent of its $100,000 fixed goal.
The campaign still has 15 days left to meet its goal, and the company stresses that the prototype shown below is an engineering sample and that the final product will see more improvements and feature "a much better finish." Either way, the prototype will be shown to Lenovo and Verizon Wireless tomorrow as part of the "Transform the Smartphone Challenge" campaign, and assuming that the Moto Mod at hand manages to impress, it is possible that it could obtain further funding from Lenovo and/or Verizon, which would allow the company to continue improving the concept before the final product ships this July.