Monday, April 22, 2013

Find: Hands on with the Pebble watch ((tags: finds, peripherals))

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Hands on with the Pebble watch: a handy device with a lot of potential

After several months of patient waiting, I finally received my Pebble in the mail a few weeks ago. This Pebble is not the kind that gets stuck in your shoe (hopefully); it's a brand-spankin'-new, Kickstarter-funded "smart watch"—an e-paper bracelet that connects to your iOS and Android devices, which means you can tell the time and do some other cool stuff too.

The "other cool stuff" is the part that had Kickstarter backers excited in early 2012; excited to the tune of $10.2 million. During the fundraiser (which ended in May of last year), backers who pledged $99 or more were promised one Pebble watch, which now retails at $150. While it's not perfect, it is a rather interesting step forward that should culminate in a healthy platform later this year.

First impressions

At its most basic level, Pebble tells the time. You may scoff at that—it's a watch you say, of course it tells the time. But it does its time-telling really freakin' well. It currently ships with three default watch faces, as well as 12 others that you can load onto the watch with the companion app (free on iOS and Android). By far my favorite custom watch face is "Fuzzy Time," which rounds the current time to the nearest 5-minute interval and translates that number to what you might say if your friend asked you the time. While seemingly trivial, I love this rough approximation of time. Rarely do I need to know that it's 5:13:23pm, but seeing that it's "quarter after five" is awesome.

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  1. I think I need one of these. It would probably reduce the number of times I need to pull my phone out of my pocket.

    The only downside I see is that anyone around me could also see my messages coming in on the watch face.

    Waterproof to 150 feet is pretty impressive as well.

  2. This is definitely going to my "To-Buy" list! I love the idea of controlling my music using my watch instead of having to pull my phone out everytime I want to change the song/change volume.

  3. Give it a year or two and there will be an iWatch where it's all completely integrated - I guess Bluetooth would be required though, or you would look silly holding your wrist to your ear to make a phone call :)

  4. This is definitely a great idea. I'm not one to wear watches but I want to look into this more after is has been out for a little because this id something that would be useful to me.

    My favorite feature would probably be the fact that you can control music playing on your mobile device from your watch. I listen to music all day while at work and this would save me having to open up my iPad to change the song.

    I wonder if it allows you to connect to you mobile device via WiFi as well? If not that could be a great feature to add. If you are out of range for Bluetooth signal you could still receive updates from your phone via WiFi connection.

  5. This easily comes across on of those things that you see/read about and fell in love with. Definitely in my to-buy list.

    I felt the feature to approximate the time to the nearest five minute interval is funny and cool at the same time :)

  6. Seems to be a cool watch! Definitely a must-buy for a tech-savvy person like me. This innovation seems to open a lot of potential ideas as to what can be done more to enhance your mobile experience! Controlling music on my mobile, waterproof feature will really make the experience comfortable as well as pleasing.

  7. Now that's a good concept. The habit of compulsively removing your phone from your pocket and checking for notifications is one that many of us share. It would be cool to just glance at the watch and get all that information quickly. And watch face, I could have a new watch everyday just by changing the face :)