Moto 360 Smartwatch Ushers Us Into the Future With a Classic Look

1 - Moto 360 Smartwatch Ushers Us Into the Future With a Classic Look
2 - Meet the Motorola Moto 360
3 - Above All, a Watch
4 - Hello, Moto. Er, Google.
5 - Navigation on the Go
6 - What's Relevant
7 - The Lessons Motorola Has Learned
8 - What's Possible?
9 - Coming This Summer
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Moto 360 Smartwatch Ushers Us Into the Future With a Classic Look

by Michelle Maisto

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Meet the Motorola Moto 360

The Moto 360 has a circular, stainless-steel–rimmed watch face, a single (very watch-like button) on its side, and no microUSB port, suggesting wireless charging. Unlike with a traditional watch, lefties suffer nothing with the 360; they can flip the watch upside down, to make the button face out, and the user interface will flip to accommodate them.

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Above All, a Watch

Options will include a metal or leather watchband. "It has to pass the fashion test … that's table stakes," Motorola designer Jim Wicks said during a Google Hangout. "You nail that, then you're in the game." Above all, the 360 is a watch—glance and you get the time. When you need more, speak up.

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Hello, Moto. Er, Google.

Google's Android Wear video shows people interacting with the Moto 360 like they might with the Moto X, saying, "OK, Google," to wake the device and ask for information—such as the score of a game—or "respond," to reply to an incoming text when your hands are full.

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Navigation on the Go

Google Maps integration is a given. Also expect what Motorola calls "contextually relevant information," based on where you are, or what your calendar says is about to happen. Users will also be able to interact with their social networks, set an appointment, set an alarm, play music and take a note.

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What's Relevant

Contextually relevant information can also mean receiving calendar or other pushed alerts—and really in a very attractive format. (The 360's interface, at least in photographs, makes the Samsung Galaxy Gear's look depressingly dated.)

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The Lessons Motorola Has Learned

According to Wicks, everything Motorola learned from (its unsuccessful sports watch) the Moto ACTV—including power management, touchless control and integrated sensors—went into the Moto X, and everything it learned from the Moto X has gone into the Moto 360. A pedometer, offering users information about steps taken and calories burned, is included, and one imagines that developers will create plenty of health-related apps.

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What's Possible?

Google says it hopes developers will use Android Wear to create functionalities users have never seen before. While not mind-blowing, one fun use that Google shows off in its video is a woman telling her watch to open her garage door as she cycles up to it. (Motorola Mobility, which was recently purchased by Lenovo from Google, says it was working on the 360 before it learned about Android Wear.)

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Coming This Summer

The Moto 360 is water-resistant and will work with all Motorola smartphones, as well as all Android devices running version 4.3 or later. For additional details, it seems the world will need to wait until the summer.

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