Moto X’s ‘Windy Day’ short is the type of revelatory experience for which smartphones were made

I was just messing about with the phone and a wide-brimmed red hat floated on by. It disappeared for a minute and then settled between the on-screen navigation buttons and my icons. It teased me but didn’t solicit attention. I could ignore it if I wanted.

Of course, I didn’t ignore it, because I knew it was Windy Day and I’d been eager to try it out since reporting on it last week. A collaboration with Pixar director Jan Pinakava and a team of engineers at Motorola and Qualcomm, Windy Day takes the high-resolution images produced by a modern smartphone and elevates them to beauty, sound and story.


The ruse is simple: a wide-brimmed red hat falls from the sky during a wind storm and settles near the home of a curious and greedy mouse. Said mouse attempts to don the headwear, but it keeps ceremoniously blowing away as he does so. As the hat becomes more evasive, and the mouse more frustrated, you as the “user” must circle around in place to “follow” the pair of characters — and the hat is most definitely a character — on their journey.

The game, if you want to call it that, takes advantage of the Moto X’s accelerometer to mimic real-world augmented reality in a finite animated universe. You don’t always need to follow the hat, as the world is alive and animated around it, rendered in real time using the Adreno 320 GPU, but the story will not continue until you refocus your attention on the main characters.

Though the experience is short, I admit to laughing out loud at some of the scenes, and coming away genuinely impressed that this experiment, this unnecessary addition to the canon of smartphone “apps,” was commissioned by Motorola to merely delight its users.


If you’re a Moto X owner, you may have seen an app called Spotlight Player automatically downloaded from the Play Store over the last few days. This is the vehicle through which Motorola will bring content like Windy Day to its audience. And I hope they do, as I’ll be showing the game-slash-story to many people over the next few days. If you know a Moto X owner, I highly recommend you do the same.