The Moto 360 Gets the Smartwatch Form Factor Right

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The first shot fired in the smart watch war was either the Pebble or the pseudo-smart iPod Nano in a watch band. Since then, a number of companies have attempted some very interesting and lame entrants, few of which have caught on with any kind of vigor.  Lately though, as rumors of a fully-fledged Apple iWatch heat up, the biggies of the tech world are starting to invest in their own ‘watches of the future.’ The latest, announced this week, is the Moto 360, utilizing the just-released Google Wear software.  Unlike nearly all of the competition, the Moto 360 is elegant, thoughtful, and actually looks like a watch you want to strap on.

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As a designer, I immediately gravitate toward the Moto 360’s form factor, which has been around for centuries, and looks classic on the wrist. Indeed, I imagine there are some designers at Apple this week that are pretty pissed that Motorola got here first.  Understated, versus the chunky, often ghastly industrial design of those other smart watches, the Moto 360 eschews things like cameras and visible sensors, which in 2014, takes some real restraint.

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The watch is too new to be reviewed, but it relies heavily on Google Now, which is entirely voice-driven, similar to Siri.  Part of me hates the idea of always barking commands at my wrist, but we’ll see how the watch operates, and how intuitive the software really is. I’m also very curious to know how a circular LCD is created.  Nice work, Motorola. You deserve a slap on the wrist…

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