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OS, WiFi and UI, Oh My!

In 2011, Google announced that it intended to acquire Motorola Mobility. The two companies have worked together on products for several years, and the MOTOACTV is another example of this partnership. It uses a version of the Android mobile operating system developed by Google. The MOTOACTV depends upon a modified version of Android 2.3, also known as Gingerbread.

The MOTOACTV contains a chip that allows it to receive and transmit signals over WiFi and wireless networks. It can also receive FM radio signals. You can pair a MOTOACTV device with other gadgets via Bluetooth or ANT, both of which are wireless protocols. Both are ideal for devices like MOTOACTV -- they require very little power because they only transmit small amounts of data at a low rate. That's a problem if you're trying to watch a high-definition video, but it's ideal for transmitting data collected from a sensor.

The MOTOACTV can also connect with a secure WiFi hotspot. To do this, you must first connect the MOTOACTV to a computer using a micro USB cable. Using your computer, you select the appropriate wireless network and enter the password to let your MOTOACTV communicate over WiFi. After you've set up your device, it will send data collected from your workouts to automatically whenever it detects your wireless network.

As for the user interface, it's all touch-based. The MOTOACTV has a capacitive touch LCD screen. That means a weak electrical charge propagates across the screen. When a conductive material -- like your finger -- makes contact with the screen, it changes the capacitance and the device registers a touch. You don't have to push against the screen the way you would with a resistive touch-screen interface. But there's a downside -- if you're wearing normal gloves or mittens, you won't be able to navigate the menus unless you resort to using your nose as an input device. If you'll be using your MOTOACTV outdoors in wintertime, it might be worth investing in a pair of gloves with capacitive material in the fingertips.