A leaked advertisement from Canadian telecoms Rogers has revealed more details about the Moto X – the upcoming handset to be produced by Google-owned Motorola.
The video demonstrates the phone’s ‘always on’ capacity – a feature first promised by Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside at the D11 conference in May this year – with the Rogers representative seen addressing the smartphone by saying ‘OK Moto X’:
“Your Moto X is ready to listen and respond. Talk to it and it learns your voice. With the power of Google Now it tells you what you need to know even when you’re not touching the screen.”
Google Now is the company’s rival to Apple’s Siri – a ‘personal assistant’ that recognises natural language commands and that sifts through users’ data to predict the information they’ll want: “To use your Moto X you only need your voice: without touching it at all you can get directions, set an alarm or do nearly anything, just by talking.”
The voice-command to activate the surface is similar to that used with Google Glass. Users of the wearable tech activate Google Now by saying ‘OK Glass’. Siri offers a similar service, but requires users to tap the homes screen button to activate it.
Other features of the upcoming Moto X include ‘active updates’, a new system of personalised notifications (“Instead of a blinking light that doesn’t actually tell you anything, information quietly appears on the screen”), and a gesture-based camera interface:
“Moto X can also launch the camera in a flash – no need to press a button or slide an icon, just twist your wrist twice and it’s ready to shoot.”
Although no hardware specifications have yet been released Motorola have promised that the handset will compete with flagship products from Apple and Samsung.
In the first official advertisement for the Moto X that ran at the beginning of this month, Motorola played up the fact that the phone will be largely assembled in the US – an implicit attack against Apple, who manufacturer their devices in China – whilst promising that the handset would be “designed by you”.
What exactly this means is unclear, though Taylor Wimberly, founder of the website Android and Me, has claimed that users will be able to pick from a range of materials for the phone’s backplate: “Plastic is the default material, but wood is also an option that should be available at launch. Other materials like metals, ceramics, and fabrics should become available after the August 23rd launch."
Expected to get a US release this August, Google have invested heavily in the product. Recent reports from the Wall Street Journal said that the search giant had already advocated “ possibly upward of $500 million” to market the handset – that’s half as much as Apple’s entire advertising budget.