A Smart Watch Named Pebble

photo (26)There’s been talk of an iWatch (Apple Watch) for so long it’s almost a foregone conclusion that there’ll be one someday.  But an Internet community funded Kickstarter program has produced an interesting alternative. It’s called a Pebble, and I’ve had mine for a couple of weeks; here are some impressions.

So, what’s a Pebble? It’s a smart watch that connects via Bluetooth to your iPhone or Android phone. From there, you tell it what to do. You can view your texts, incoming phone calls, emails and anything you can “push” to the watch. There are also downloadable watch faces to choose from; you can store seven at one time on your Pebble.

Features include a crisp epaper display that’s very readable in any light and a backlight that comes on with a flick of the wrist. The watch runs approximately 6-7 days on a charge. It’s water resistant and feels very well made.

The Pebble is not small; the standard 22 mm watch band is an indication of just how big it is. Since I had been wearing a Suunto outdoor watch, it’s about the same size for me.  The photo above shows it on my average-sized wrist.  By the way, I’m in direct sunlight. As you can see, the screen is really legible!

The Pebble allows me to control my iTunes selections on the fly… one click to pause, skip to the next song, etc. And Runkeeper has just announced that it integrates with the Pebble.   Maybe that will get me to start exercising again!

Using the If This Then That website menus provide all sorts of possibilities with the Pebble.  I have it send me a weather forecast each evening at 7 p.m.. And weather warnings via Weather Underground text messages have been especially useful.

watchface2

The Software Development Kit for Pebble was just released, and I expect all sorts of creative applications will be developed over time.  The watch face coding standards were released earlier in the year, and there are now quite a few watch faces free to download; check out My Pebble Faces.

While I’ve only had my Pebble for two weeks, it’s already become a part of my daily routine. My wrist watch vibrates and I check it; it might be a text message or a phone call. Many times I don’t have to fish the iPhone out of my pocket. 

Email notification is still flakey from an iPhone, and who needs that anyway? I do wish caller ID worked; right now, it just displays the phone number. By the way, both caller ID and email messages work fine on an Android phone. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

All in all, it was a long wait for the Pebble but it was worth it! It’s limited feature set is just the beginning; it will be fun to see what this thing will do in a few months.

You can’t buy one just yet. The Pebble folks are still fulfilling orders from their Kickstarter backers (all 68,000 of us)!  But they are taking pre-orders, if you’re interested.

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About richcasey

Retired Corporate Communications manager for a Fortune 500 defense and electronics contractor. Still obsessed with social media, computers and ham radio (callsign N5CSU).
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