Apr, 28 2014

Moto 360 Hangout

There’s no question there’s been lot of hype (and mystery) surrounding Motorola’s upcoming smartwatch, the Moto 360. The latest wearable from the company since the Moto ACTV, Motorola has been surprisingly mum on was the device’s hardware specs.  During yesterday’s announcement, Motorola mostly kept the focus on the device’s basic design (spoiler: it’s round) and brand new OS catered to wearables, dubbed Android Wear.

Because they know there’s still a lot of unanswered questions — many Motorola still isn’t ready to reveal — they took to Google Hangouts for a short Q&A session with Motorola consumer experience design group lead Jim Wicks and Barbara Liss, who handles social media for Motorola. Arriving fashionably late (ironic given the subject of the Hangout), they took some questions from the audience (and one from our own Rob Jackson).

Moto 360 hardware

First up, Motorola says the reason their smartwatch is round is 1-part “woah” factor, and the other part because they simply wanted the device to feel familiar to consumers. You know, like a traditional watch. There was also something in there about square watches being uncomfortable, something they apparently learned from the Moto ACTV. Wicks went on to say how the card interface fit perfectly with the 360’s round shape, but we can’t help but think square would have been better suited.

Talking a little bit more about the hardware, Motorola points out the 360 features a stainless steel casing and will be water resistant, although its specific IP rating wasn’t revealed. They also said that the watch would be camera free, a decision they made early on. As far as bands, they’ll be interchangeable by the user (or professional), meaning you should be able to slap the watch on a variety of watch straps.

Moto 360 software

Talking a little about the OS, Wicks mentions that the Android Wear SDK allows developers to create and test apps on both round or square devices, something we already told you guys about in yesterday’s post. The best part about the OS? It’s not orientation specific, meaning no matter which hand you wear it on, the UI will flip around so it’s always right-side up.

Another question on our minds is how well the device will display the time. Although Motorola didn’t mention if the display would always be powered on, Wicks did say that when lifting the device up to look at it, the 360 will always display the time (likely tied into the gyroscope sensors).

As far as compatibility, Motorola mentioned that the Moto 360 will be compatible with any Android 4.3+ device (this is due to the notification listener service that debuted in 4.3).

Still unknown

There were a few details Motorola was still not ready to reveal, those dealing with pricing or specifics about global availability. When it came to battery life, Motorola was also quiet on the amount of days (or hours) users can expect to get from the device, but did mention that battery management was serious “consumer pain point,” and one they gave high priority to. Probably the

The Motorola Moto 360’s biggest secret? How it charges. With no inputs or exposed connections, Motorola is calling this is their “secret sauce,” to be revealed at a later date. Our guess is some type of wireless charging like Qi, or maybe even newcomer Rezense.

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