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10 best electronics analyses of 2015

23 Dec 2015  | Stephen Padilla

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Wearable devices, 3D printers and many other electronic devices made a splash this 2015, making a lot of engineers busy with all the tinkering, testing and designing of these innovative products.

Have you any idea what these brilliant people have to say about these technological developments? If you have little to no knowledge at all, fret not. EDN Asia gathered 10 of the best analyses and technical write-ups on electronic devices that made the biggest impact to our readers this year.

Prying Eyes: Design trade-offs in Moto 360

Amidst all the recent hype about Apple's Watch line, it can be easy to overlook that the company is fairly late to the smart watch party. One of the best-known alternatives is Pebble, a Kickstarter darling that is gearing up to begin shipping its second generation of conventional and Steel products. Other products running company-specific O/Ss include those from LG (the LTE variant of the Watch Urbane), Samsung (the Tizen-based Galaxy Gear line), and Sony (early iterations of the SmartWatch series).

Then there's Android Wear, a wearable-tuned variant of Google's Android operating system, found in multiple manufacturers' products ... including LG's G Watch series and the non-LTE version of LG's Watch Urbane, the Samsung Galaxy Gear Live, and Sony's latest SmartWatch generation. As you can see, some companies are hedging their bets. The Android Wear supplier ecosystem also includes plenty of other familiar company names, among them Motorola, formerly a division of Google and now owned by Lenovo.

Although Motorola was publicized as a launch partner when Google unveiled Android Wear in March 2014, the Moto 360 smart watch didn't begin shipping until September of that same year (LG's first-generation G Watch and Samsung's Gear Live had entered production in June, coincident with the Google I/O developer conference). The Moto 360, as its name implies, is unique among Android Wear-based smart watches for its circular face (at least as I write these words ... rumours suggest that it'll soon be joined by products from others). This particular form factor decision is cosmetically preferable, at least to me, but it also compelled some design compromises.

Smart watch

My motivation in tackling this particular teardown is to showcase these trade-offs as well as, more generally, to highlight what's inside the Moto 360's sleek case. Given that the product's been available since early last fall, I suspected it had already been dissected elsewhere, and Google informed me that indeed it had ... specifically by my long-time friends at iFixit. My perusal of their teardown report's travails and other details, along with a subsequent conversation with company CEO Kyle Wiens, was informative on a number of fronts.

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