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Job listing suggests Motorola getting more serious about wearables


A job listing spotted by TechCrunch suggests that Google-owned Motorola Mobility is stepping up its work on wearable computing, seeking a senior director of industrial design for wearables.

Motorola is no stranger to wearable devices, with eyewear dating back to Windows CE. A fitness-orientated smartwatch called MotoActv (above) launched last year got good reviews but had limited commercial success, likely because low-key marketing meant many didn’t even know it existed. It was essentially a full-on Android device on the wrist, with Bluetooth connectivity to a smartphone and ANT+ communication with fitness sensors like heart-rate monitors and bicycle cadence meters.

Motorola Solutions also has the HC1, a kind of cyborg-styled Google Glass equivalent aimed at the enterprise and public service sector. For police applications, Motorola suggested that the device could be equipped with both facial-recognition software and automated license plate recognition, displaying any reports on both vehicle and owner.


Given that the same functionality would be possible in the much less obtrusive package of Glass, it will be interesting to see whether that particular project survives – and, indeed, how Google sees the role of Motorola more generally in the wearables arena.

Motorola teases MOTOACTV update coming March 7

Motorola announced in a blog post today its all-in-one fitness band is about to get a new update. Motorola said it would detail more as the launch date of the update comes closer, but it did reveal that the MOTOACTV would gain support for up to 40 new activities, including: yoga, Pilates, dancing and martial arts. Motorola will also roll out an online hub —where users can track fitness progress—at the time of the update. The MOTOACTV band will push the fitness information over Wi-Fi, so you can then setup competitions among friends.

Just as a refresher: Motorola announced the MOTOACTV at an event in October along with the Droid RAZR. The MOTOACTV can track your every move, play music through an FM radio, and can even store up to 4,000 songs. The 8GB version retails for $210 and the 16GB version retails for $300. Stay tuned, as Motorola said there is more to come.


Sony Tablet P lands in UK as MotoActiv gets December 1 launch

From the world of non-tablet Android devices, both Motorola and Sony have products launching in the UK including the Sony Tablet P and Motorola’s MotoACTV. You can grab the foldable 5.5-inch dual screen Sony Tablet P starting today, while the MotoACTV fitness-focused device will go up for sale on Thursday, December 1.

As for the Tablet P, expect a Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, Android 3.1 on Wifi model, and Android 3.2 on 3G models. We haven’t got our hands on the dual screen experience as of yet, but we know other dual screen devices like Nintendo’s DS line rely on software designed specifically for the display setup.  Unfortunately at £500 (about $750) for the 3G model, we’re not so sure there will be a market for the Tablet P. The device is available now through Dixons and local Sony Centre stores.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Moto ACTV, it is essentially an iPod nano/Nike+ competitor allowing you to track fitness stats like calories burned as well as sync and monitor the stats online. It also includes GPS features, and the ability to transfer calls to the bundled SF700 headset/biometric sensor. The Moto ACTV will be available to UK customers later this week on December 1 for £249.99 through fitness apparel retailer