I’ve had my share of Motorola phones and other devices over the years, as have many of you. They’ve always been on the edge of mobile technology, even introducing the first handheld mobile phone back in 1973.
Last month I had the pleasure seeing behind the curtain a bit as I, along with my #VZWBUZZ friends, got to tour the recently opened Motorola technology center in the Merchant Mart in downtown Chicago. The tour was arranged by Verizon Wireless,and while it was very short, we got to see the lengths world-class technology companies are going to in order to ensure quality products and services.
Before we get into the fun part, here are some of the staggering specs on the new facility:
- It covers approximately 600,000 square feet on four floors, including a rooftop patio.
- Over 10% of the space is dedicated to labs of various types.
- It has 1.5 BILLION feet of cable, enough to go around the world over 900 times.
- Over 2,000 employees call this site home, including over 1,300 engineers.
Now, on to what we saw… at least what we can tell you.
The site was very modern, greeting visitors with a giant LED wall that changed colors and images in waves of glorious pins of light. The wall was designed to be used as an entrance of sorts, although we took the smaller, less cool steel door to the side. But moving through the hallways a few things became evident quickly. First, the sheer amount of network and other cabling running through the building was staggering. Huge bundles of wire ran on tracks overhead on the way to and from the data centers. Also, collaborative and private space was everywhere. One was rarely more than a few seconds away from either a chair off by itself, or a bar table and chairs to discuss ideas.
Employee morale and well-being are also in high consideration. The facility has nine kitchens and pantries, a game room near the tech stop, and the previously mentioned rooftop patio. Most of the workstations appeared to be adjustable or even mobile, and even with all of the traffic and people in the space, was very noise controlled. All very modern in design and function for today’s workplace.
Now the labs. As I mentioned above the building has seven labs, consolidating over fifty previous labs. As you can imagine, access into these areas were very controlled and we barely got glimpses into space, but we were provided information on some of the advanced testing and design going on (none of which I feel comfortable mentioning here).
Overall, it was amazing to see and hear things that Motorola are working on and how they are going to achieve them from this incredible building. Motorola is heading into some uncharted territory with their Moto 360 watch and its round face. They continuously release new and better Android phones and other accessories like the Motorola Power Pack Slim 4000 (of which we received to review!). I’m excited to see what they come up with next, and now I’ll know where it came from!
Check out some more photos of the facility at the bottom of this post. Do you have experience with Motorola devices? Let me know about them @BeBizzy on Twitter! And don’t forget to join me and the rest of the #VZWBuzz team Friday afternoons at 2pm Central on Twitter to share mobile technology experiences with other users like yourself!
Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with line of service from Verizon. No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise positive feedback.