Watches have gone through several phases of innovation throughout their long history. We have seen new technologies allowing for improved water resistance, longer power reserves, better accuracy, new power sources, and many more. With each new invention there is a buzz around watches and the next big thing. Right now, smartwatches appear to be that next big thing.
We have had a plethora of smartwatch options come out in the past two years, lead primarily by the success of the Pebble smartwatch. Many other manufactures have jumped on the bandwagon each trying to build the device that will become the thing to have in smartwatches. While there are several of these devices available, none have really and truly brought enough to the table to corner the market and claim the smartwatch throne. The functionality of these watches is not usually an issue (although some do not perform as quickly or do as much) as much as it is the aesthetics. Most smartwatches look like CBP watches: Cheap Black Plastic. They do not use traditional watch shapes nor traditional watch materials. While the idea of a smartwatch might appeal to a large audience there have been none yet that truly capture the proper design elements to be successful. Motorola and Google both hope to change that landscape with the Moto 360.
The Moto 360 has two strong elements going in its favor: it is powered by a version of Google’s popular Android operating system, called Android Wear, and it is designed to look and feel like a traditional wristwatch, rather than a square or rectangular block. The Android Wear behind the watch will allow for a large set of features and provide functionality beyond what is available on smartwatches today. It will utilize Google Now like “cards” on the watch face to display information and have voice commands – “Ok, Google” – to allow for hands free operation. Expected functions include weather, SMS notifications, call notifications, maps, fitness and, of course, watch faces.
Motorola’s designers claim to have “gone back in time” when considering how to design the Moto 360 and that if they were going to do it right, it must be round, like a traditional watch. All of the core components were designed from the ground up to fit the round case shape. The case has hidden lugs and looks to come on both a bracelet or strap. Other than the crown the case is free of other pushers or buttons which keeps the look of the watch very clean.
Right now we just have renders and demo videos of the Moto 360 showing how it is expected to look and operate. There are no specs detailing battery life or a charing method and no pricing has yet been announced for it’s summer 2014 release. If the Moto 360 comes to life as it has been shown we may have the first smartwatch that will also fit in the category of wristwatch. For more information you can visit the Moto 360 website.
by James Enloe