We have been touting “wearable tech” way before “wearable tech” was cool. But, guess what, the coolness factor has finally caught up with our hype. We say that because we recently purchased the long-awaited Moto 360, Motorola’s entry into the Android Wear smartwatch swarm. We were sold on the technology behind smartwatches a couple of years ago, but now our non-tech friends don’t make fun of us when we wear our new Moto 360 to the annual office holiday soiree. The distinguishing characteristic about the Moto 360 is it’s stylish round-face, as opposed to the rectangular, geeky looking watch face of some of the other smartwatches that we have acquired. The black leather band also helps mask the appearance of this smartwatch as just another layman’s watch.
But don’t let the stylish appearance of the Moto 360 trick you into thinking it is just a timepiece. Indeed, you can customize how the current time displays, from a traditional long and short-hand dial to an ultra-sleek, modern numeric readout. But you can do so much more with the Moto. As with all Android Wear-based smartwatches, you can view this watch as an extension of your Android-based cell phone. (Alert: there is no need to get this or any other Android Wear-based smartwatch if you don’t have the requisite Android-based smartphone). You get notifications of texts, e-mails, and phone calls on the watch without pulling your phone out of your pocket or purse. The integrated mic allows you to issue voice commands with the familiar “Ok Google” wake-up call. We have been able to “ask the watch” for navigational directions and then get the turn-by-turn steps on the watch. Of course, this is all powered by the nearby Android phone, but all of the interaction is on the watch. For the health conscious, there is a constant heart-rate monitor along with a step counter app integrated with the phone. There are other environmental monitoring notifications that you can receive on the watch, such as temperature and weather info. Of course, one can download other special apps that are being developed for the Android Wear platform for a myriad of functions.