Pebble Technology (Allerta) have created the perfect hi-tech Über smart wrist watch. Currently seeking pledgers on the fund raising website Kickstarter Pebble is attracting huge amounts of attention, attracting over 10,000 pledgers and over $1.4 million in 4 days, Pebble looks to be an early hit. With 36days to go till funding is closed and production begins Pebble is anxiously being anticipated by many.
The designers of the amazing InPulse smart watch for Blackberry have finally brought their magic to the iPhone and Android world. In one foul swoop they have completely re-invented the wrist watch for the 21st century. While the InPulse was a tad bulky, and frankly attaching their wagon to Blackberry seems a little insane, InPulse was still a wrist bound technological tour de force.
Learning as they go Allerta have created the most incredible Smart-phone assistant ever. Think of Pebble as a second display for your smartphone, one that is immensely more accessible, and generally always visible. While vibration notifications offer convenient silent operation, without the strange looks.
The first wrist Über watch to tick every geeky wish-list box, Pebble is the undisputed Queen of Über Watches. Being a smart device in her own right by incorporating a slimmed down version of the same smartphone technology in every pocket. With an ARM CPU, application multitasking, accelerometer, Bluetooth, 4 types of vibration notification (using the built in shaker), E-Paper display and 7 days between charges the Pebble has it all. All built into a sleek watch design that’s flexible and good looking.
In action Pebble goes from strength to strength. Watch faces have been in development since the release of the Impulse, 12 months ago. Hundreds of options available, there is a face for every occasion. Messages appear on screen using smooth transition animations, with time sliding off to reveal incoming texts, emails and other information.
The E-Ink display (144 x 168 resolution) dubbed E-Paper allows the watch face to stay on permanently without using power, no screen blanker required. This is one of the major advantages of E-Ink, it only uses power when picture on display changes. When a message comes through or when the time changes is far less updating than 60 times a second (60Hz), in LCD’s case. Outdoor useability is also exceptional, using the same technology as the best E-Book readers guarantees the displays readability.
Pebble’s display also includes a backlight to allow night time viewing. By nature E-Ink uses ambient light to illuminate the display. In a dark sleepy bedroom this is a very good thing, it won’t ever act as a night light but at the press of a button the display can be lit up for those wake up before the alarm and check the time moments.
7 day battery life is evidence of Pebbles low power design, when charging is required the included USB cable is put to use via a powered USB port or wall charger adapter.
The Look And Strap
Pebble is unashamedly geeky by nature, in both design and function. While Pebble is by no means a tiny watch she has slimmed down from her big brother InPulse. Pebble builds on top of everything Allerta learned developing InPulse, switching from OLED display to E-Ink and switching host smartphone from Blackberry to Android or iOS Pebble has hit the tech sweet-spot.
The strap included is a standard 22mm watch strap that can be changed for any level of bling required. Pebble was designed with a minimalist yet fashionable design in mind, Allerta surpassed these intentions making a watch that is clean, stylish and just a tad sexy. Three 3 standard colours (Black, Red and White) are being manufactured, a forth colour is also being voted on by pledgers.
What Is A Smartphone Assistant?
Think of Pebble as a second screen for your Smartphone, once the Bluetooth connection is established your assistants talents are only limited by which applications you choose to install.
The various notifications, vibrations, audio alerts and message displays, can be set to respond to (or not) incoming calls with CallerID, Email, Calendar Alerts, Facebook, Twitter, Weather. Android users can also receive Text Messages (SMS) on their Pebble. Unfortunately the iPhone does not expose this data and cannot. Notifications can easily be dismissed with a quick shake of your wrist, making use of the accelerometer.
Allowing the interaction between Pebble and your smart-phone to operate in both directions gives Pebble remote control your phone, extending functionality, media playback control moves to Pebbles buttons or the accellleromoter to interpret gestures.
Setup is simple, download the Pebble app, free on the relevant app store, on to your smartphone, connect via Bluetooth and your away.
Pebble is also a fast learner. New talents and skills can easily be downloaded from the Pebble App Store, installing via Bluetooth or USB. She can even multitask, with multiple applications running simultaneously running alongside watch faces and regular notifications.
Sensibly Pebble realizes the watch won’t be operating in a vacuum, partnering with websites and software companies to bring their users new and useful functionality. Applications are available that instantly makes the Pebble superior to many sports specific watches. The cycling and running apps can track and report distance and route using you smartphones GPS. Golfers will be interested to hear the Pebble have already partnered with Freecaddie to provide information on 25,000 golf courses.
SDK is being prepared that will allow anyone to develop apps. Allerta a big believers in building an eco-system of applications around their devices, Pebble will receive her own easy to use developers kit. Expect this to become one of Pebbles great strengths.
The Kickstarter Effect
Setting the record on the start-up investment website Kickstarter Pebble raised $100,000 in 2 hours, and astoundingly in 3 days they have garnered $1.3million dollars in pledges from investors.
Here at Highpants we love the Kickstarter system, by using a system of pre-selling products the start-up company gets the security of knowing how many products to build in the first production run, pledgers get early access to , often at discount prices, very cool hardware, the Pebble watch for example. With Kickstarter the pledgers are pre-ordering a product, if you have 10,000 pledgers your first minimum order is 10,000, no market guessing required.
The money raised through the Kickstarter program will be used to bring Pebble to wrists around the world. Covering the costs to produce that nerve wracking first production run.
Pebble is the undisputed Queen of the Über Smart Watches. With the perfect balance between technology and stylish functionality Pebble is set to be this year’s first viral product. We can’t wait for our Pebble so we have temporarily drawn her on ourselves. Currently the pre-order cost of Pebble, as a kickstarter pledge, is $115 USD, the final release price is likely to be higher. With over 10,000 pledges already the first production run is going to need to be large. After that it will just be a question of how many they can produce per month.
With good looks, and plenty of smarts Pebble has dragged the wrist watch, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. Adding unlimited functionality to one of the most convenient devices ever invented. No longer is you watch limited to just telling you the time, now Pebble is the new always in view, vibrating pulse on our electronic lives.
- Load apps using Bluetooth
- 144 x 168 pixel display black and white e-paper
- Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR
- 4 buttons
- Vibrating motor
- 3 axis accelerometer with gesture detection
- Distribute apps via Pebble watchapp store
- iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S running iOS 5 or any iPod Touch with iOS 5.
- Android devices running OS 2.3 and up. Works great with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)!
- Unfortunately Pebble does not work with Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, or Palm phones at this time.