Motorola held a videoconference with the world media to give more details of its new Moto 360 watch, which unveiled yesterday as part of the Android Wear platform, a modified version of the operating system powered by Google, and it points in the technology segment to wear, which includes mostly connected smart watches and bracelets, but also adds shoes, rackets and more.
Responsible for giving the talk was Jim Wicks, chief designer of Motorola, who first, in 2008, introduced the Aura, the cellular company with circular screen (and only so far). The video chat on Moto 360 can be seen here: Not much was known of the engine 360, and wicks added some data, which are also used to understand where aims Android Wear as a platform.
The watch is made with a steel frame, a mesh of real leather and an unusual round screen, so presumably it will not be cheap. Wicks gave no details on the price or availability, beyond coming to the market in winter, but is likely to be closer to Gear 2 from Samsung ($300) announced in February that the Pebble of first-generation ($150) who was born at Kickstarter (a second version, metal, is priced at 250 dollars in the United States).
Use a round display points to do so friendly and give a historical connection to traditional watches. A question that was, if this was exclusive of Motorola (because LG also announced a clock yesterday, but with square screen) and wicks confirmed that it is something that has Android Wear, so it is likely that we will see other marks using circular screens.
The computer supports interchangeable meshes can be used on the left or right hand because it has an accelerometer to rotate the display information, has no USB port for charging the battery, whose autonomy is unknown, but recognizes that Wicks is a priority – and is resistant to water, probably using some of the techniques waterproofing electronics inside the company already used in the RAZR.
“It has no camera (“do not think it essential”, Wicks said, in obvious reference to watches Samsung) and works with any device with Android 4.3 or higher, which is part of the specification of Android Wear. Here again, the distinction with Samsung brand (their watches only work with teams from the South Korean firm), but not with Sony, whose clocks themselves are compatible with any Android smartphone.
Wicks did not say what hardware your computer has. For reference, the Samsung chip Gear 2 has a dual-core 1 GHz, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB internal, the LG G Watch, according to several leaks, has a similar hardware. Simultaneously, the Pebble watch has a chip on a 120 MHz core and 512 KB of RAM, according to iFixit, which added to its transflective LCD screen (black and white) allows a range of 5 or 6 days, twice that its current competitors.
THEY ARE NOT AS SMART WATCHES
The idea behind Android Wear does not seem to be a platform for smart watches as we know them today (at least for now) but to create ubiquitous attendees. It’s almost the same, but the difference, though subtle, is important: Android Wear does not seem to allow third-party applications installed on the clock, as they do Pebble, the Gear Samsung and others. For something on the dial of the watch will have to be installed on your smartphone, who will do all the heavy lifting (relying, of course, in the cloud whenever possible) and send notifications to the screen attached to your wrist.
Android Wear (and what has been the Moto 360) can display on a secondary display notifications coming to your smartphone, make heavy use of Google Now (with alerts, tips and much analysis of your movements and activities, but all processing Google’s servers) and have limited interaction with the watch: watch alerts, discard or send a predefined response, forward an email to someone else, talk to the phone to make a search or other tasks (and in this, the knowledge gained with the Motorola Moto X is a key), pause playback of music, watch a weather report or meters walked, and so on. At Android Police have a lot of information (in English) how are the vertical and lateral gestures Touchscreen Watch for controlling functions.
The greatest value of Android Wear is not pretending that the device we carry in the wrist is a replacement smartphone, but an extension of it. Three of the concepts behind Android Wear: verbal commands, notifications and information based sensors. Eventually you can add more, of course, but Google is right to put a limit to what today must offer a smart watch, when the technology available is limited. It seems an excellent idea, especially if it helps with one of its weaknesses, which is in the battery.
Probably that is the reason also why most of the news at this point in the Mobile World Congress has been on the side of the bracelets to monitor physical activity (Huawei, Sony and Samsung): a few functions, limited but understandable (i.e., they give some sense to purchase it, for now, is a gimmick), and devices that allow more modest but also more economic autonomy and better.