Moto X - could self-design become the new smartphone trendsetter?


Motorola invented the very first mobile phone in 1973 – these guys have been around the block a few times, so Google’s $12.5bn acquisition of the company last year may not have been the most craziest of decisions.

While us techies are crying out for innovation from the smartphone giants – begging for payments, near-field communication, SLR-quality cameras and the next “biggest thing”, Google has analysed what a mobile device means to a person today. 

Especially the millennials, who are growing up with a smartphone attached to their hands 24/7, the Facebook, SMS and Twitter notifications bleeping out around the clock. These devices are personal.

Smartphones are a fundamental part of their lives.

And it’s not just the teenagers, most adults would be completely lost without their phones – just remember how you struggled to find your way around a city the last time your battery went flat.

Technology is at the core of everything we do.

And while Apple and Samsung have been the trendsetters in this space placing their white and black rectangles into the palms of Westerners everywhere, perhaps it’s time for the consumer to choose what their phone looks like today?

The Moto X is the design for everybody: “I’d love this device to be the equivalent of the person who walks into the party, and it’s not the intimidating person in the corner or the performer, but the one is who is comfortable there,” said Jim Wicks, head of design at Motorola.

While only available in the US this summer, the Moto X will offer 2,000 variations to the device in terms of colours, covers, and engravings. And this I think could just be the beginning for design and the smartphone.

The cost of 3D printing has dramatically fallen in the past year, with models predicted to be in the average person’s home in the not-so-distant future. We will soon be designing our products and printing spare parts to our machines in our living rooms.

But this will change our attitude to design and manufacturing, creating two issues:

  • If we can design spare parts will we keep our technology for longer by being able to personalise it and fix it when it breaks?
  • Or will it become even more disposable because we can just cobble together a new one at home?

With people becoming more aware about what 3D printing could mean for the industry, it has given way for self-design businesses like Makie Dolls to spring up. Makie Dolls are transforming digital production. The dolls are produced by the customer digitally and the digital model is then manufactured by a 3D printer to the required specifications which can vary to include, hair colour, eye shape, and clothes.

So if the self-design trend is about to kick off, maybe Google has just got their timing right on the launch of this phone.

Or will we continue to become mindless sheep following the crowd forever more?

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