Nolan Haynes' Musings

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Motorola Moto 360: Story and Design

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On March 18, 2014, Google debuted Android Wear as a software platform for wearable technology. Alongside Google’s announcement, Motorola and LG announced their own smartwatches based on Android Wear: the moto 360 and the G Watch. The G Watch follows current smartwatch design with a rectangular display while the moto 360 sports a circular display that reflects watch design. It wasn’t hard to tell which one many people who saw the two would be interested in.

A day later, Jim Wicks answered questions (fielded by Barbara Lis) about the moto 360 during a hangout. While watching the video, I found the story behind the smartwatch very intriguing. Learning about what the team used during the design and prototyping phase of the project and the materials used in the moto 360’s makeup made me a very happy person. The story behind the moto 360 is what enlightened me the most.

The inspiration behind the moto 360’s design is that time itself, whether it be the sundial, clock, pocket watch, or wristwatch, was almost always represented by a circle. That said, the first thing I thought about when I saw the watch was Motorola’s high-end cellphone: the AURA. The AURA had stainless steel construction and a twist open design that centered around a beautiful circular LCD display that resided below sapphire glass. Power-management is something that I had known Motorola would be able to pull off, given their work on the RAZR, RAZR HD, and RAZR MAXX smartphones. I had not expected where the knowledge for the power-management work done on the moto 360 would actually come from. It all came from the MOTOACTV smartwatch. With the MOTOACTV, Motorola learned how to tune Android for maximum efficiency. This continued into the MOTO X (especially with respect to sensors) and now the moto 360. With respect to the size of the watch, while the case is around 48 mm in circumference, the attachment points for the band is about 7 mm to 10 mm in from the edge of the case and thus allow the smartwatch to be comfortably worn even on wrists that wouldn’t normally accept such large watches. This from a smartwatch that can be worn on either wrist unlike a normal wristwatch. Certain features of the moto 360 have also yet to be divulged however.

The global availability of the moto 360 is one of the biggest questions that haven’t yet to answered. I hope that unlike Motorola’s mid-range to high-end smartphones, that the moto 360 will hit many markets around the world. Another big question is how the watch will be recharged when the need arises. I believe the moto 360 will be compatible with the Qi inductive charging standard.

I can’t wait for the moto 360 to become available.