While many wrist bound gadget manufacturers are concentrating on the brains of their smart watches only one company has already cracked that equation and are now working on the most important part, the watch part.
Pebble is the first smart watch maker to release a wrist bound smart device that actually looks smart, a watch you would wear to work or in any every day situation.
Smart watches are your mobile phones new best friend and may just be the ultimate personal digital assistant. Are they now finally delivering on the smart watch dream that has been a long time coming?
Building on the foundations of the original, a smart watch that ticks all of the boxes, has made Pebble the leading smart watch manufacturer; long battery life, an always on face and apps galore, are the fundamentals. Now with Steel models Pebble are consolidating that lead.
Constructed from marine grade stainless steel, Gorilla Glass up front and waterproof to 5 atmospheres the Steel is ready for any situation. Two choices of finish are available with Silver or Black to choose from, you also receive two matching wristbands, one in leather and one in steel. Would you take a Samsung Gear scuba diving or down the beach? For the Steel it’s not a problem.
The display and internals of the Steel are identical to its plastic brothers. The black and white E-Ink display has 144 x 168 pixels worth of resolution to fill. Connection to your phone is via Bluetooth while the internal sensors include an ambient light sensor and gyroscope.
The E-Ink display while not as colourful as the Sony or Samsung smart watches it is far more readable in outdoor conditions. An RGB LED has been added to the Steel to allow for simple notifications to be assigned colours and flashing, allowing your clock face to stay put.
Internally Pebble uses an ARM Cortex 3 processor with 128KB of RAM, 1GB of Flash while FreeRTOS is used as the operating system. The low power nature of the display and simplified processor allow the Pebble to run between 5 and 7 days on a single charge. Even heavy users are reporting a full 4 days between charges.
Apps and Software
Being able to change your watches face on the slightest of whims is only the tip of the app iceberg for a smart watch. Apps are the key and Pebble has recently opened it’s App Store (available on iOS and Android) which should help to consolidate the app marketplace and encourage even faster growth.
App categories include Daily Living, Remote Controls, Games, Notifications, Tools & Utilities, Sports & Fitness and Watchfaces. Since the internal hardware of the Steel remains unchanged it does ensure full compatible with all Pebble Apps and the app store.
When Pebble first opened its app store doors at the start of February there were already over a thousand apps ready to tempt you. Stand out apps include; Yelp, Foursquare, GoPro controller, Tweeble twitter client, ESPN for live sport results, Morpheuz Sleep Tracker, Pandora, PebbleGPS with maps, Mario and there’s even Pebble Mars for keeping up with Curiosity’s activities. PebbleCam turns your watch into a smart viewfinder for your phones camera. Pebblis the Tetris clone is also available; no app store is complete or can be considered mature till it has a Tetris clone.
While the current version of the Pebbles can only hold 8 applications at once the newly update iOS / Android software allows you to quickly swap apps and manage your watch.
Are there more Steel designs in the works? Its initial success, Pebble are still unable to keep them in stock, may be a very good sign for the continued evolution for Pebbles smart phone assistant.
Reference: Pebble Steel