The New Moto X gives us a Glimpse into the future of Mobile and Predictive Computing


This morning I received an email from Motorola with the subject Moto X. Ready when you are.

I mostly ignore emails telling me about new smartphones, but the copy inside the image definitely got my attention today. Here’s what it says in case you didn’t get the email:

Moto X responds to your voice – no touching necessary. Instead of a generic, unhelpful blinking light, information important to you quietly appears on the screen. When you pick it up, Moto X is curved to fit in your hand. Twist your wrist twice, it becomes your camera, and gets the shots you’d otherwise miss. Moto X is the first smartphone to be designed and assembled in the USA, so it’s close to you before it even gets to you. Once you turn it on, Moto X is all yours.

Three things caught my eye, namely:

  1. Moto X responds to your voice.
  2. Instead of a generic, unhelpful blinking light, information important to you quietly appears on the screen.
  3. Twist your wrist twice, it becomes your camera, and gets the shots you’d otherwise miss.

For a while now, we haven’t seen much innovation in smartphones, the newer ones are for the most part faster than the previous generation, and their batteries last a big longer. Or in the case of Apple and the upcoming iOS 7, a design that goes from skeuomorphic to flat, and not much beyond that.

In other words, there hasn’t been much to get excited about.

In fact, things on mobile are beginning to get complicated as they did in the PC era, and since Mobile is about simplicity, this cannot be a good thing. Think about it, we now have an excess of apps and we are constantly struggling to find the right one, we are now swiping too much in my opinion for such a simple task. I actually use the search on my iPhone to find the app I need, that is if I can even remember about all the apps I own.

Predictive Computing

I for one believe that it’s time for us humans to stop having to adhere to our technology and have our technology cater to us.

I feel that we are now ready for truly smarter phones that can begin anticipating our needs based on where we are and what time of day it is for example.

This is why I’m excited about Google Now and why I’m concerned about Apple’s future, in part because they don’t have a Google Now-like strategy. Neither does Apple seem to have an answer to the upcoming Google Glass. I will share more of my thoughts on Google Now in a future post, but for now I believe this is the future, predictive computing if you will.

Back to the Moto X phone

This is why I take notice when I read that a smartphone will wake up when I speak to it, no touching required. Incidentally this is possible in the Moto X because Google Now is built from and center. The idea that a phone can display the right notifications for me exactly when I need them is another exciting microinteraction that I welcome into my mobile experience.

Finally, the ability to simply twist my wrist to invoke the camera is one of those ‘why didn’t anyone else think about that before’ concept. This is a great start and I look forward to more manufactures doing more.


Here are two videos I found on the Moto X that illustrate these innovations:


via Moto X – Quick Capture – YouTube.


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  • I really like the idea of the phone responding to you without even touching it. So the first video was nice to see this might be where we’re heading.

    The second video, that’s just awkward. Wrist injury from using your smartphone, I couldn’t use that feature and find that the iPhone method of accessing the camera from the lock screen is more than sufficient. With that said, I think it would also be cool to tell the phone you’re going to take a picture before even picking it up.

    That second video is going to have so many spoofs made of it, I can see it now.

  • JoshCav

    Keep in mind… for our children this is like black and white television with three channels. I don’t know where we will be in twenty years, but I’m ready to go along for the ride.

    • I always wonder that myself, what a generation from now will think of technology like this. What will smartphones be in 20 years? Will it follow a similar path as FM (or AM) radio? Don’t know if that’s a good analogy.

  • Pick Technologies

    I want to get this phone now.

  • I waited forever for the Moto X, but alas it was never released in Australia :0(

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