Pebble is the Kickstarter-funded watch or wearable computer that can connect to most Android or iOS devices. I don’t normally pay attention to this type of gadget, but as the device has gathered buzz, I was kinda compelled to give it a closer look.
And I’m glad I did, because Pebble is different from similar devices in the past. For example, IBM had prototypes of a similar device that was supposed to be able to run Linux, but that didn’t seem to have panned out.
So, why is Pebble different?
To know why, you’ll have to understand why past attempts like Pebble failed. They failed, or more correctly, failed in the market place because they tried to play the same role as a standard computer. That’s why they were dubbed “wearable computers.” That does not appear to be the target purpose of Pebble, though it has all the trappings of one.
Rather, its main purpose is as a control and informational device, kinda like a modern-day remote control, aside from also being a traditional, but cooler wrist watch. I said “cooler,” because Pebble is a thing of beauty, both from a geek’s and end-user’s standpoint.
Unlike a Rolex and other very expensive, designer wrist watches, Pebble’s outer appearance is highly customizable. Inside, is an ARM processor, a vibrating motor, an accelerometer, a magnetometer, and ambient light sensors. All that is topped off with an open Software Development Kit (SDK), which gives coders the ability to write more apps for the device. Pebble is a hacker’s dream.
And with the Kickstarter-funded price at $150.00 USD, it is very affordable. I think if people can afford to spend several hundred US Dollars for a phone, they can afford a Pebble. I’m sure that with time, the price will drop much lower. That, aside from its features, is why I think Pebble will be a commercial success. I know for certain that I’ll buy one.
For its use as a wrist watch, the downside to Pebble is its battery life – a mere 7 days. In that regard, it’s a high-maintenance wrist watch. But compared to other mobile devices, that battery-life is unmatched. Plus, it can stand being immersed in water.
Visit getpebble.com for more information.
The Pebble team was at CES 2013. View a recorded presentation by the team’s leader here. By the way, for Kickstarters, Pebble will begin shipping on January 23.