The D11 conference has been underway, with Tim Cook discussing all things Apple yesterday, and today with Motorola‘s Dennis Woodside discussing the company and its plans. According to Woodside, Motorola plans to launch amidst a range of smartphones one particular hero handset called the Moto X, which is said to be “contextually aware of what is going on around it.”
Motorola also has plans to release a “handful” of handsets in October (or possibly sooner). While those devices weren’t discussed, Woodside did get into Motorola’s planned hero phone, the Moto X, saying it will be the first smartphone built in the US. Such a title is earned by making the phones via a 500,000 square foot structure in Texas, a place that was used in the past for making Nokia handsets. While Android’s Sundar Pichai has had access to the phone, Woodside says access to Android code won’t be used to give the handset an advantage.
When questioned about the so-called hero device, Woodside responded: “It is going to be broadly distributed. There are a couple things we’re going to be doing differently … Motorola has always been good at managing ultra-low power sensors, such as the gyroscope and the accelerometer, and keeping those on all the time so the device knows different use states. The [Moto X] knows when it is in my pocket, it knows when I take it out of my pocket. I might want to do something, I might want to take a picture, so it fires up the camera.”
When asked if that meant the Moto X will always fire up the camera when taken from the pocket, Woodside went on to clarify his statements, saying no, that it will rather know what the user wants to do, and facilitate such an action. He went on to give a more specific example of what can be expected from the phone, using a different scenario to illustrate the point. “Imagine when in the car, the device will know it is going 60mph and it is going to act differently so you can interact with it safely. Those are the kinds of things we’re doing with fundamental technology.”
Because of its contextual awareness, the phone will allow users to interact with it in a way that is said to not be possible with the current smartphones on the market. According to AllThingsD, the Moto X will be rolled out by October of this year, but no other details about it were provided, such as specs or how much users can expect to pay for it.
Update: According to a press release Motorola has published, the Moto X will actually be available some time this summer, not October as originally stated.