Motorola CEO talks about Project Ara, wearable devices, and Moto X

December 6, 2013

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside sat down with YouTuber Marques Brownlee for an interview touching some interesting topics, from Motorola’s relation to Google, to the company’s plans for wearables, and the futuristic Project Ara.

Woodside reiterated that there’s still a firewall between Motorola and its corporate overlord in Mountain View, and that Google is more of an “investor”, rather than a close partner. For the smartphone maker, the biggest benefit of having Google’s backing is the freedom to think long term, without the pressure of turning an immediate profit. In this respect, the Moto X was “all Motorola”, said the executive, with Google having no contributions to it outside the financial support.

Motorola has already positioned itself as a forward-thinking company, following perhaps the example of Google, well-known for moonshot projects like balloon-powered internet and, most recently, actual robots. Project Ara is perhaps the most daring project undertaken by any mobile manufacturer right now (at least publicly). Woodside told Marques Brownlee that an advanced prototype is already finalized, but there are still many obstacles to overcome to make Ara/Phonebloks a reality, chiefly a universal interface that could work with speakers, cameras, and other components. For the project to take off, the support of component makers is also crucial, and in this area, a major problem is convincing partners to invest and sell directly to customers.

Woodside’s company is also interested in wearable devices — the exec hinted that Motorola is tinkering with smarter Bluetooth headsets and other types of devices, including a smartwatch.

For more details, watch the full video above; Dennis Woodside offers a few more interesting tidbits, including details on the KitKat update for the Moto G and the eventual launch of wood and other back cover materials for the Moto X.

Comments

  • MasterMuffin

    It’s funny how these days a youtuber can just sit down and have a live chat with a CEO of a big company just like that (don’t get me wrong, MKBHD is great) :)

    • sk10270

      And from his bedroom!

      • Noel

        Lol..saw that. For him doing this, shows Motorola really is interested in knowing what the masses are saying and interested in. I would have loved to see a Qs on a Moto X like Phablet and on the possibility of Motorola as OEM of the next Nexus phone (my first OEM of choice for the next Nexus is HTC, then Motorola and then Sony).

    • T.J.

      I have respect for Woodside for doing it. I’ve always been a fan of Motorola too.

    • AbbyZFresh

      It also shows how Motorola really cares about feedback from actual people and not what they think people will like. Plus on of the employees at Motorola mentioned on Google+ that Woodside is a personal fan of the youtuber guy’s videos and website.

    • Vardan Nazaretyan

      I think Dennis Woodside is not like other CEO’s of similar companies. Like, I can’t imagine MKBHD on a live hangout with Tim Cook, or Peter Chou. Motorola and Google seem to be more open to the consumer and reviewers than any other CEO’s.

      • MasterMuffin

        Especially not with Tim Cook, because MKBHD is an Android guy!

        • Vardan Nazaretyan

          Yeah. That’s true.

    • Luka Mlinar

      Considering how bad he is at his job i am not surprised.

      • MasterMuffin

        Shots fired!