Motorola

Motorola has finally revealed the date for its next big press event, and on September 4 we're likely to meet at least four new devices. The invite sent out today hints at the Moto X's successor, the Moto G2, the Moto 360 and something you'll wear in your ear. So far Motorola's efforts in the wearable space have been focused on the Moto 360, the lustworthy Android Wear smartwatch that's been turning heads (and making nerds impatient) since its April announcement. But what if Motorola's smart earpiece isn't just another Bluetooth headset — what if it's the company's first phone-connected smart earpiece?

At launch, the Moto X was a phone with unparalleled voice control capabilities — the ability to say "OK Google Now," followed by a whole host of spoken commands, was one of the device's killer features. Similar functionality later came to other Qualcomm-powered phones thanks to built-in, low-power speech recognition sensors, but Moto has been shipping this technology for the past year. Android Wear is already a voice-centric experience, in which it's much easier to launch apps and give your watch commands using your voice. The potential is clear, even if the execution isn't perfect yet.

Motorola paper fortune teller

imagine being able to give your Moto X voice commands without even taking it out of your pocket.

So how might Motorola envision a smart ear-based wearable like the one in today's invite? Well, for starters, imagine being able to give your Moto X (or Moto X+1) voice commands without even taking it out of your pocket, or holding your watch up to your face like Dick Tracy. Sure, there is something of a stigma attached to Bluetooth headset use, but it's no less socially acceptable than talking into your wrist. In addition to obvious stuff like calls and texts, there's no reason why the majority of Motorola's Touchless Control commands couldn't be handled through a "smart" Bluetooth headset, with voice feedback directed straight into your ear. Checking your schedule, controlling music or asking Google Now questions would all be relatively easy for Moto to achieve, complete with direct spoken responses.

But notification reading is where things could really get interesting. Pulling out a smartphone, or looking down and fiddling around with a smartwatch isn't always convenient. In some situations, for example when you're driving, running or walking through a busy city, you might want your notifications piped into your ear too. Moto already does this with text messages through the Moto X's driving mode. Doing so with all notifications — or at least a chosen subset of them — is a logical next step for a Motorola smart earpiece.

We're only speculating at this point, but this kind of wearable device could be an interesting development for Motorola, leveraging its strength in voice controls and the power of Google Now. We'll be watching with interest come Sept. 4. In the meantime, share your thoughts, and any theories of your own, down in the comments.