Moto 360 Marks Latest Bid to Introduce Breakthrough Smartwatch Design

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-08-18 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Motorola is just weeks away from unveiling the Moto 360, a smartwatch that is expected to reach the market this fall. Motorola has scheduled an event on Sept. 4 to showcase a variety of its new products. Chief among those products will be the Moto 360, which some observers believe could be a game-changer in the smartwatch industry due in part to its circular design. Smartwatches have generated some interest among mobile device buyers, but this hasn't translated into a big surge in sales. As of this writing, smartwatch makers have sold just a few million units, according to the latest research. Some market watchers contend that the Moto 360 is the device that could prove the value of not only Android Wear, but also the wearable form factor. In other words, there is a lot riding on Android Wear and its eventual success (or failure). Given all the attention the Moto 360 is getting, it's a good time to look at what we know so far and examine what customers can expect from this smartwatch. The round design is actually just one of the Moto 360's many interesting features.

 
 
 
  • Moto 360 Marks Latest Bid to Introduce Breakthrough Smartwatch Design

    By Don Reisinger
    Moto 360 Marks Latest Bid to Introduce Breakthrough Smartwatch Design
  • A Similar (but Different) Android Wear Experience

    Motorola's Moto 360 is running Android Wear, which means the look and feel of the operating system won't be all that different from what customers have already seen in devices from Samsung and LG. The big difference, however, is that, unlike Samsung and LG products that come with square displays, the Moto 360 has a round screen. That's a first in the wearable market, and something that can't be overlooked.
    A Similar (but Different) Android Wear Experience
  • Style Is the Name of the Game

    When looking at the Moto 360, it's clear that Motorola's focus was on style and form factor. While the functionality of the device is important in its own right, the Moto 360 is arguably the best-looking smartwatch the market has seen to this point, and there's no other product we know about in the pipeline that will match it anytime soon.
    Style Is the Name of the Game
  • The Size Is a Bit Bigger Than One Might Expect

    According to those who have already tested the Moto 360, the device is slightly larger than anticipated. Motorola will provide full specs and information about the device next month, but the Moto 360 is said to be quite large around the wrist, and for smaller wrists is almost too big. It should be interesting to see whether Motorola makes note of that when it shows off the device next month.
    The Size Is a Bit Bigger Than One Might Expect
  • Pick a Wrist, Any Wrist

    Although all of the images of the Moto 360 show it on the left wrist, the device is fully capable of being used on the right wrist. It's expected at the Sept. 4 event that Motorola will show how the screen flips or adapts in some way to being used on either wrist. That's important—especially for left-handed people who prefer to wear a watch on the right wrist.
    Pick a Wrist, Any Wrist
  • Don't Expect to Find a Camera Included

    Motorola has made it clear that a camera will not come with the Moto 360. The company has said that the device's design and Motorola's own desire for high-quality design precluded the inclusion of a camera. It's possible that a camera is included in the second generation, but for now, it's out.
    Don't Expect to Find a Camera Included
  • Developers Are Cooking Up Some New Apps

    At Motorola's Sept. 4 event, the company is expected to showcase several applications that third-party developers have created to take advantage of the device's round display. Rumors have been swirling for weeks that developers are excited by the new device and see it as a potential boon for their development efforts in the wearable space. That's good news for Motorola.
    Developers Are Cooking Up Some New Apps
  • Android 4.3 or Higher Will Be Required

    As with other smartwatches currently available, like the LG G Watch, the Moto 360 will require Android 4.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher to communicate with another device. Anyone can buy the Moto 360, of course, but those who want the full feature set, including notification support and messaging, will need a later-generation Android smartphone.
    Android 4.3 or Higher Will Be Required
  • There Should Be a Good-Looking Charging Station

    Motorola has yet to say how the Moto 360 will be charged and how long that charge will last. However, some images have surfaced recently showing a docking station for the Moto 360 that would allow the device to be charged wirelessly. Motorola hasn't confirmed that those photos are real, but they certainly looked legitimate.
    There Should Be a Good-Looking Charging Station
  • Expect an OLED Display to Conserve Power

    Since battery life will be so important to the Moto 360, the big question mark surrounding the device is what kind of technology its display is made of. Some reports have suggested that Motorola has gone with an OLED display to ensure longer battery life. OLEDs are renowned for using little battery life, and some reports say that Motorola wants to use the technology to maximize how long the Moto 360 will last on a single charge.
    Expect an OLED Display to Conserve Power
  • Look for the Standard Health Talk

    The latest mobile trend is personal health care. That's why the Moto 360 is likely to come with some health-related features and apps, which Motorola is expected to talk about on Sept. 4. The device is already known to have a pedometer built in, but is also rumored to include a heart rate monitor. There will likely be others, though Motorola has kept that all close to the vest.
    Look for the Standard Health Talk
 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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