May 14, 2014
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360-moto

Motorola’s venture into the wearable market is not to be taken lightly. The MOTOACTV was one of the first major smartwatches, but its health focus kept it limited, resulting in an unsuccessful launch. Now they are back at it with the Moto 360, a device that took the smartwatch idea and literally turned it 360 degrees.

The Moto 360 is all but guaranteed to be a hit, and Motorola knows it. The company is so confident about their upcoming smartwatch that they have put every other competitor to shame!

[quote qtext=”We look at the 360 and we look at what everyone has done in that space. To be honest we think they are all pretty crappy.” qperson=”Mark Randall” qsource=”Motorola SVP of Supply Chain and Operations” qposition=”center”]

Those are some fighting words, Motorola! And to be honest, I could not agree more. Whether we like the Moto 360 or not, there is one fact we can’t deny – the smartwatch market is currently a failure. It’s a total mess, and this is due to multiple reasons.

360-2

Design

The smartwatch market is full of ugly devices. The best-looking ones are the Pebble Steel series, which were just released! Aside from that, all I have seen (and used) is a cluster of bulky smart watches that make you look like a 60’s movies cyborg.

Most comes with a square, thick body and a construction that is simply not very appealing. This would be ok if these devices were helpful, but is that the case?

Galaxy-Gear-and-BMW-i3-1

The software factor

Don’t get me wrong, some of these smart watches do offer great functionality, but they continue to be limited due to lack of support. The problem here is inconsistency. No two smartwatches offer the same software and compatibility.

Every smartwatch manufacturer is trying to do their own thing, making it very hard to get real developer support. We have Samsung’s Tizen, Pebble OS, Sony’s Micrium and many Android-based modifications. Each support different apps, are built on different ecosystems and have their very own protocols.

Do we really think developers want to make apps for every single one of these? Smartwatch manufacturers struggle to sell devices, meaning there’s probably not enough users in any single one of these platforms to bring interest. The real solution would be to bring them all together.

Sony

It’s all about Android Wear!

In comes Android Wear, the smartwatch platform we were all waiting for…. One OS to rule them all, and based off Google’s Android. This platform will cover all smartwatches under the same blanket and create consistency.

What makes Android Wear awesome is that it is an operating system with wearables in mind. It offers a simple and uncluttered interface, which was much needed. Smartwatches are currently the main target, but this should change in the future.

The first two Android Wear devices announced are the Moto 360 and LG G Watch, both of which are great on their own merits. I may agree that the Moto 360 is the best one around, simply due to its looks.

Keeping the device alive

Another huge problem I have seen with smartwatches is that they don’t offer great battery life. This may not be an issue the new Android Wear devices fix, though. Even if they did mention battery would be “made a priority”.

Regardless, most smart watches feature an LCD display. Not only is this bad for outdoor reading, but it burns through your battery like no other. Most LCD smartwatches won’t even take you through a full day, and this is why I really like Pebble and Qualcomm. They have used the energy-efficient E-Ink and Mirasol display technologies.

pebble-steel-recode-1 re/code

What else is wrong with current smartwatches?

While Android Wear and Motorola improve upon most of these problems, they are definitely not perfect. We will find more issues when we get to test these devices. Meanwhile, tell us what you hate about current smartwatches.

What can Android Wear fix in the near future? What could manufacturers change to make the smartwatch market boom? Conversely, do you disagree with the idea that all current smartwatches aren’t good enough?

Edgar Cervantes
Edgar Cervantes has over 5 years of experience in tech journalism. Exploring the latest gadgets and constantly studying the industry are part of is daily drive. Regardless of what he is working on, you can be sure he is always trying his best to bring you the best content. He will be dead honest and will bend to nothing.
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