Smart watches have changed the reason we wear watches today. They now offer users valuable notifications and insight into health and fitness. Samsung, Sony, and Pebble were the first big players in the smart watch market. They all ran their own custom software with less than attractive hardware. They paved the way to what a lot of us are excited for at Myriad: Android Wear.
The Android Wear operating system brought a new level of value with Google Now like functionality to your wrist. Samsung and LG were the first ones out the gate with square faced smart watches running on Android Wear. Around the same time, Motorola introduced the Moto 360, a circular faced smart watch, that looked much more appealing on the wrist. However, it didn’t launch until three months after Samsung and LG’s watches.
Most of us at Myriad waited for the Moto 360 and weren’t in the slightest disappointed. The functionality provided by Android Wear and the hardware design by Motorola makes for a great device.
During Team Myriad’s trip to Droidcon NYC the Moto 360 and Android Wear provided excellent utility. Upon checking into the airport we received prompt notifications about our flight info such as boarding time, gate information, and seating location within the aircraft. As a kicker, you are able to easily swipe and scan your tickets while keeping hands open for luggage and coffee – good work, Delta!
Another great example of the Moto 360s utility is navigation. While the idea of navigating itself isn’t earth shattering, super discreet and contextual navigation is incredibly helpful. Having glanceable directions allows pedestrians and bicyclists the ability to be more engaged in the environment around them instead of buried into a map, haplessly pinching and zooming to get to their target location. Navigation can be done as simply as saying “Ok Google, take me to Times Square” and you’ll receive a heads up display on your watch containing a sequence of directions displayed exactly as you need them, based specifically on your location.
The Moto 360 is an excellent encapsulation of voice drive dictation, Android’s rich notifications, and Google Now packaged in a package that is nearly indiscernible from a traditional styled watch at arms length.
Just like Google Now, it’s goal is to provide you with the exact information as you need it – without inducing information overload.
Being aware of time, location, and application, you get meaningful information such as heads up notifications for the proper time to leave for a destination based on travel time and traffic. Other contextual reminders are a mini map and your next direction while in navigation mode, pedometer popup while longer walking sessions detected, and heart activity monitoring overview during periods of increased heart rate.
Look + Feel
This is an example of wearables done well. The device is IP67 water and dust resistant, features industry standard wireless charging, and has a very glassy feeling display that makes touching, tapping, and swiping feel very smooth.
The Moto 360 hardware all lives inside of a black or silver stainless steel circle and clasp over the wrist in a comfortable leather strap.
- Level is a gem amongst other applications in its utility factor. Level gives your Moto 360 a notification for each transaction you make. In addition, is has a swipeable in and out interface for checking your daily expendable income and monitoring money spent for the current week and month.
- During the setup process Level can determine your income, monthly expenses, and financial goals. What this leaves you with are insights, spending habits, and what I think is their premier feature, Spendable. Spendable is the amount of money you can spend per day and have enough left for your primary expenses and goals.
- Heart Activity
- As a software developer it can be hard to remember to get up and be physically active throughout the day. The Moto 360 provides an excellent assistant application for just such a thing and it’s called Heart Activity.
- Motorola has extended upon Google Fit and included their own Heart Activity suite. The goal is to help us achieve 30 minutes of health activity per day – you know, because your heart is important and stuff. A simple swipe will reveal a summary of your weekly heart activity in a beautiful radial menu showing the days you achieved, or didn’t achieve, an optimal level of exercise.
- Google Fit
- Google Fit is an open platform that lets users control their fitness data. Google Fit lets developers build smarter apps and manufacturers focus on creating amazing devices.
- Google Fit powers all of the fitness capabilities behind Android Wear. It currently provides the access to the internal pedometer and heart rate sensors. This will be a big driver of the Android Wear ecosystem and as more capabilities are added to Fit, your hardware will become more useful and knowledgeable – all through the power of mobile applications.
- For those more technically inclined, Google has big plans for Fit and you can parse some of the future capabilities through their developer preview via the data types and APIs. Site listed below.