Moto X features advanced voice and gesture controls

Motorola's new flagship smartphone, the Moto X, will let users activate Google Now without touching a button

Shona Ghosh
15 Jul 2013

Google’s first Motorola handset, the Moto X, will offer voice and gesture controls when it arrives in October.

A video leaked by Canadian telco Rogers, which has first dibs on the phone in Canada, has shown off some of the smartphone’s features - including the ability to fire up Google’s personal assistant, Google Now, using voice commands.

"Your Moto X is ready to listen and respond - talk to it and it learns your voice. With the power of Google Now, it tells you what you need to know even when you're not touching the screen," according to the video.

The clip shows a hands-free user asking the phone: "Okay, Google Now, what’s the forecast for today?" and the voice assistant replying.

Users can also get directions, set an alarm, "or do nearly anything" by addressing the phone, though it isn’t clear whether "Okay, Google Now" is the default command.

The handset will also feature gesture controls, with users able to shake the phone to launch the camera, rather than tapping to load the app. They can then press anywhere on the screen to take the photo, rather than a shutter icon or physical home button.

Another feature is the "Active updates" function which offers more subtle, useful notifications. Rather than a blinking light that indicates a user has a missed call, text, email or other notification, the screen gradually fades in to show the precise nature of the notification - such as an icon showing it's a text message, and what time it arrived.

[IMG ID=197197F]Moto X's subtler "Active updates"[/IMG]

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside has previously hinted at the Moto X’s smart functionality, saying it would feature the same low-power sensor tech the company uses for its Motoactv smart watch to pull in contextual information. He said the sensors would be tightly integrated with the phone's core functionality - knowing, for example, if it's been taken out of a pocket or if the user might be driving and needs hands-free mode.

Earlier reports have suggested that Moto X buyers will be able to choose their own spec to some extent, such as colour or default apps, and that the phone will be manufactured in the US.

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