Motorola’s Android Wear smartwatch, which led
sales of Android Wear devices during their first
year of availability, is now part of Moto Maker ,
the custom hardware design platform that lets
shoppers build their own looks for Moto devices.
Moto 360 customization options include three
different finishes, nine separate band styles and a
number of different pre-installed watch face
options. And no, it’s not possible that the timing
of this is purely coincidental with the big Watch
event Apple hosted Monday.
The customization options on Motorola’s device
include a dark or light metal finish, or a rose gold
option (for a $30 premium), as well as three
leather strap options, plus three different types of
metal link bracelets in various colors (metal is
$50 more expensive than leather). Face options
are, of course, software features, but your watch
will come sporting the design of you choice right
out of the box.
Motorola is clearly looking to take advantage of
the Moto 360’s popularity by extending the
personalization of the product, given potential
shoppers an ability to create something in line
with their own tastes. It’s a strategy that pretty
closely resembles Apple’s own approach with the
sales of the Apple Watch, which will come in
three different collections “curated” by the
company to mix and match both case finish and
case size, as well as a variety of band options.
Apple’s approach still offers more in the way of
customization, but Motorola’s play is a clever,
and fairly easy-to-implement way to add a range
of personalization to an existing product, in a
way that Android Wear competitors probably
can’t match quite as easily.
I’m still a little sore about the fact that the Moto
360’s initial concepts presented a fully circular
display, which gained a black bar across the
bottom to mar the roundness when it eventually
shipped, owing to design limitations related to
sensors and hardware engineering. But this
customization tool is a smart, timely shift in their
market strategy, and should help the company
keep a lead on their Android Wear peers.