This one surprised me. I was one of the first people to order the Pebble watch on Kickstarter back in April of 2012 and I couldn’t wait to receive it. But I haven’t worn a watch in probably ten years and was pretty sure I wasn’t going to keep the Pebble on for very long. Plus, the watch face is quite large, which even further made me think it wouldn’t last.
In fact, I did try the Pebble soon after I got it in January of this year and then after a week or so, I took it off and didn’t put it back on for a few months. But then in the beginning of April I decided to give it a real shot, and I’ve been wearing it ever since.
As I predicted a few months back, I can see this screen being a part of my life for the foreseeable future. Or at least a “wearable” screen, be it on my wrist or on my eyes (Google Glasses, etc). The ability to be “connected” to your phone without having to hold the phone in your hand (take it out of your pocket, etc.) is a great luxury to have. I’d guess that the Pebble allows me to keep my phone in my pocket at least 15% of the time.
For example, when I’m walking down the street and I get a text, instead of hearing my phone chime or vibrate and getting it out of my pocket to see who texted me, I can simply look at my wrist and see who it is. And while driving, I can even answer the phone via my Pebble watch (though once it is answered you talk through your phone or car, the Pebble doesn’t have voice integration yet). And I can change music on my phone via the Pebble watch which is also a great feature when driving or walking/running.
When I switched from taking notes in meetings on my iPad to using a pen and pad (Evernote Moleskine to be exact), mainly because I felt I looked like I was being insensitive and not “connecting” with people in the meeting, I did miss the ability to get email alerts from the iPad as they popped up. Now, with the Pebble watch, I get a slight buzz when I receive a text or email and I can quickly check and see if its something important.
One of the fun things you can do with the Pebble is switch the watch faces (here’s a site with a ton of them). Here are some of my favorites:
My wish list for the Pebble:
Certainly I would like a better, color display. This will come especially as more companies move into the space. The watch itself could be smaller though I do have one friend that said he didn’t want it because the face was actually too small, so I guess to each his own.
The syncing has been buggy but I also think that will get better with time. I’d certainly like more of an ability to choose any app to send alerts vs. a standard list of apps. Basically any alert I get on the phone I should also be able to get on the Pebble.
The main wish is for apps. With the SDK recently coming out, I know the apps are coming and I can’t wait to see what developers start producing for it.*
What I’m learning through using the Pebble is that the phone will likely be the “computer” that follows us everywhere, but that we’ll use other screens or devices to access it much more frequently. For instance, why should I use my phone to access Waze and prop the phone somewhere in my car instead of just having Waze appear on the screen in my car? Or on my Google Glasses?
Since Engauge has a few pairs of Google Glasses coming, I cannot wait to play with that technology. While I am sure its so generation one that it will be frustrating, similar to the Pebble today, I am guessing it will start to open up an entirely new way for humans to access technology.
As far as the Pebble goes, as long as they keep improving it and developers get on board and start developing apps, I bet I keep wearing it. However, not being a “watch” guy, I have to take it off when I’m typing because it clanks on the laptop, so that is a bit of an annoyance.
* I wrote this post a couple of days ago and since that time have found a few Pebble apps in the Android Play store. I’m testing them now and will post an update once I get some time with them.