Perfect timing is all in wrist of student

It’s third period on a B-day in early January. Business class with Tomey is as lively as ever, and for whatever reason, my classmates are debating what the meaning of the word “dovetail” is, as they are apt to do whenever something takes their attention away from the curriculum.

Seeking closure on the subject, one of the folks in the back yells, “Just Google it already!”

As if on cue, I tap the sole button on my watch, a Moto360 by Motorola. “Okay, Google,” I say. “Define dovetail.”

My peers are awestruck as the meaning of the word loads. “Fit or cause to fit together easily and conveniently,” I read, nonchalantly but with a smile.

And with that, the accessory on my wrist becomes a talking point about the classroom.

My watch fits into an emerging category of products from companies like Motorola and Apple called wearable tech, which is exactly what it sounds like: technology that one directly keeps on themselves.

Simultaneously a fashion statement and a venture into a new frontier of consumer electronics, the Moto360 is Motorola’s take on the smart watch.

Anyone looking for something to replace their phone will be disappointed, as the 360 and its rival Android Wear watches from Samsung and LG (among others) rely on their owners’ Android smartphones; the thing won’t even tell you the right time unless you tether it to one.

Inconvenient as it may seem, after the initial setup it quickly feels natural; the watch largely acts as a second screen, being able to handle smaller tasks that one may not necessarily need to pull out their phone to do like making a quick Google search or checking the weather.

Everything on the watch is done either via quick touch input or by speaking, as the version of Android that runs on it lacks the ability to type without the use of external apps.

The omission isn’t a particularly painful one; the display, while certainly large and legible, wouldn’t be able to handle a full keyboard in the slightest.

The screen is acceptably sharp and responds well to touch; the voice recognition, on the other hand, can be a bit of a mixed bag.

The beta status of its software starts to show when one uses certain proper nouns or tries to speak to the watch in an area with any notable amount of noise (using it in a cafeteria, for one, would be a downright nightmare).

Should teachers be worried about their students using devices like the 360 and the upcoming Apple Watch in class?

If the first generation of the former’s a sign of how future products will operate, well, probably not.

Interacting with the screen, while intuitive for the user, is fairly conspicuous to bystanders, and speaking to one’s wrist to write a text message is getting-caught-with-your- phone-out awkward.

“Clandestine” is not the name of the game here.

The 360 is a well-made device, but it’s also an answer to a question that might not be on everyone’s lips just yet.

As a supplement to your smartphone that, while flashy and bound to earn you some cool points, isn’t entirely necessary for every Android user, the watch and, really, the whole of Android Wear as a product range— is going to have to rely on the support of the Android development community in order to carve a niche into the market.

Google has done its best to make this a smooth process by making development for Android Wear particularly similar to that of development for phones running modern versions of the system, and we’re starting to see the fruits of this relationship with some of the things the 360 can do— from Flappy Bird clones to Tesla car key-fob replacements.

It’s a bit early to give a final verdict on whether or not the 360 and its ilk are going to make a major impact on the world of technology as we know it now, but overall, the experience is still worth talking to your classmates about.

Read more by Tre Lyerly at his blog at: american-style-buffoonery/ perfect-timing-a-high-school- ers-perspective-on-the-mo- to360-6946f43274da