I have a Pebble!
About a year ago, like a lot of other people, I became a backer of the Pebble Smart Watch project on Kickstarter. Well, it’s taken a while, but a few days ago my Black Pebble finally arrived, approx. 6 months later than originally forecast. The technology hype machine is forecasting Smart Watches as the next strategic move from Apple, amongst others, so Pebble may be first-to-market, but they may be facing some heavyweight challenges soon.
So how do you make a watch smart? Basically, pair it with your Smart Phone using Bluetooth, and then add some apps. This means that there’s a reasonable amount of technology incorporated into the device, and as a consequence, it is physically bigger than a ‘normal’ watch, but perfectly comfortable to wear. It has a magnetic USB connection to facilitate synchronisation and battery charging. I’m waiting to see how frequently it needs re-charging; 3 days and counting so far. Everything is controlled by four buttons (Up, Down, Select, and Back) that interact with the menu system. It all seems quite straightforward.
What does the Pebble do? Well, not a great deal at the moment. It offers a number of user selectable displays to show the time; wow! It can control music playing on the Smart Phone (an iPhone in my case). That’s neat, but hardly original. It will display text messages, but slightly more importantly, in my view, it will vibrate on receipt of messages (and phone calls), so if your phone is set to silent, then there is a wrist-shaking warning that there’s something incoming. All in all, it doesn’t amount to a lot! But with the release of a software developer kit, we can expect some apps appearing soon that will move the Pebble on from being a cool toy, to being useful.