Two Points on the Launch of Moto X

I?m pretty excited about the launch of Moto X, the new Android smartphone from Google via its subsidiary Motorola. I think it could be a great disruption for the current smartphone duopoly of Samsung and Apple, which has in my opinion begun to stifle innovation and competition, but beyond that I think it has two greater imports for our industry and the future of digital.

1)?? Natural Interfaces are coming of age

The real standout feature of the Moto X is voice response. Early reviews indicate a broad range of features and tasks accessible by voice, and critically, the Moto X operates an ?always listening? mode which is to my mind the defining success factor for voice control. After all ? what?s the point of voice control if you have to push a button to turn it on?

2)?? Google now way out in front in innovation

I think Moto X is the point at which we can definitively call time on Apple?s reign in both digital device innovation and user-centered design. Along with the awesome potential demonstrated by Glass which I discussed here, Google is taking a clear lead in redefining how we interact with our devices and the content that they connect us to. The notion of ?always listening? is a common sense piece of user-centered product design for voice control, but Apple has failed to consider it for almost two years, leaving Siri as a tech curio in the minds of most users, and certainly not changing the way we interface with content.

On top of this is the business innovation of allowing consumers to customize their phone and have it delivered to them in 4 days. Quite apart from the value of 2,000 new jobs here in the US, it demonstrates that there is a way to break free from the top-down almost dictatorial ?black and white? design mantra of Apple. I?ve often commented that Android and Windows phones allow you to create your own phone screen, rather than iPhone, which basically makes everyone walk around with Steve Jobs? phone screen. Applying this same principle to hardware and being able to execute cost-effectively is a masterpiece of execution.

So I?m pretty excited to see some real innovation in the smartphone market at last and I?ll be stinging my boss for a new Moto X as soon as it?s available.

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