It is near impossible for me to get excited about technology! Even when I received a brand-spanking new iPhone 5, I was more keen to join the instagram world then oogle at its technological wonders. But something happened when I discovered a new product to emerge from techno land, and although this little gem in the ‘smart’ world is not a new idea, I am still getting quite keen at its future potential.
Ladies and gentlemen may I introduce you to the ‘Pebble Steel’; not to be confused with it younger, clumsier brother, the original Pebble. In short, this smart watch, Kickstarter’s most funded project, functions at a fairly basic level, (no touch screen, black and white display, minimal app allowance) it is compatible with iPhone and Android alike and has had a serious refinement in both its software and hardware. Its 1.26 inch “E-Paper” and a no time out display, means that like a normal watch you can actually tell the time … all the time!
Many of Pebble Steels strengths come from the simplicity of its design. The designers have focused on achieving the basic functionality of a smart watch; to send alerts when SMS’s and notifications come through your smart phone and then allow you to preview the message from the watch itself. With it’s hardy exterior, water proof design and no nonsense, crystal clear display the Pebble is like your sensible friend on a night out.
Within its future development, planners have anticipated a boom in the growing prosumer market, with the release of the Pebble App store and over 1000 apps and watch faces available. This platform, although in its early stages, have allowed even the most basic of apps to add to the usability of the watch. In fact, Pebble, within its selection of apps, have encouraged their users to have input and shape future app developments!
Pebble’s main competition include:
- Galaxy Gear – A higher end, multiple app allowing device that, although depicts a higher quality status, does not meet the fundamental need for a smart watch as well as the Pebble does.
- Sony SmartWatch 2 – This new model addresses some of this issues found in the early versions and although it is seen to be more usable than the Galaxy Gear, reviewers still preferred the simplicity of the Pebble Steel to get the job done.
So, wearable computing? In the age of our heads no longer being stuck in the clouds but on our phones, the Pebble and all it encompasses may in fact be a way for us to re-connect with the real world … or perhaps just make it easier to ignore phone calls from our mum.
Developer Blog, Pebble, 2014, https://blog.getpebble.com/2014/01/06/pebble-steel-ces-2014/ (Accessed 19th March 2014)
Cnet Australia, 2014, Pebble Watch, http://www.cnet.com.au/pebble-watch-339343876.htm (Accessed 17th March 2014)
Droid Report, 2014, Review:The Pebble Steel Smartwatch, http://www.droidreport.com/review-pebble-steel-smartwatch-7626 (Accessed 22nd March 2014)
Vimeo, Pebble Kickstarter Video, 2014, http://vimeo.com/40128933 (Accessed 17th March 2014)
Cnet Australia, Sony Smartwatch Review, 2014 http://www.cnet.com.au/sony-smartwatch-339343865.htm#image7 (Accessed 20th March 2014)
Kickstarter, Pebble: e-Paper watch for iPhone and Android, Pebble technology,2014, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper-watch-for-iphone-and-android (Accessed 20th March 2014)
Pebble Watch.org, Features of a Pebble Watch, 2013, http://www.pebblewatch.org/pebble-watch-features/#more-11 (Accessed 20th March 2014)