One of the Smarties I find myself having “time” for is the old (did I say old?) Pebble watch. It seems to have been around for ages and maybe because in “smart” terms it has, but it has also had the chance to be upgraded and refined in line with customer reaction.
In one of it’s latest guises the Pebble Time model seems on the face of it to be quite decent effort and outdoes Apple in my opinion. It does what it does and seems to do it pretty well.
I particularly like the new display – using color E Ink technology, which makes perfect sense and stretches out the battery life accordingly to something like a week instead of a day, which has to be an improvement.
It also has a microphone, so you can send voice messages or take notes I suppose and the operating system has had something of a major makeover. It uses the “timeline ” idea that lets you see events or notes in chronological order, via 3 side buttons – so a simple idea that makes a lot of sense.
There’s more to this voice microphone stuff than appears at first glance however – you can apparently answer an email immediately by voice or optionally translate that to text. You can also send an audio file, which is great if you’re really busy or in the middle of a noisy crowded street for example. It all sounds a bit more practical than some to me, being a bit of a Neanderthal, so personally it’s looking promising.
I also like the fact they’ve reduced the size of the watch – so important in my opinion – who wants a great square lump on the wrist? It’s smaller and thinner than before at under 10 mm and the case is curved slightly to fit the wrist better. The case is made of a combination of polycarbonate/steel and the glass is super tough “Gorilla glass, so no worries there and it’s water resistant too.
The Pebble Time has a silicon strap which is not molded into the case, but fitted sensibly to a standard bar fit with 22 mm width, so you can easily change it for any standard 22 mm watch strap – and for me Pebble are certainly going in the right direction and refining as they go, which I do like!
And did I mention the proposed price – well it’s around $179 and that’s about as far away from the Apple idea as you can get. And I like that too . . . . 😉
Now whether the whole concept of Smart watches is right or wrong, they seem to be here to stay. Albeit maybe not in their current form as this sort of technology has a way of directional change determined by public reception as much as anything. Personally I think that the mainstream watch manufacturers will eventually offer “proper” watches with their inherently long battery lives of 5 + years and/or solar power maybe, but with the additional functions, such as Bluetooth and “Smart” features as modules that can be used as and when (and if) the wearer requires such connection. Let’s face it nobody asked whether we the public actually wanted or needed a device that “talked” to our cell phone, which can be accessed within a couple of seconds anyway?
Talk about creating a market where it’s a moot point whether there even should be one in the first place – it’s a good trick if you can get away with it!
For me personally I’d be very happy with my normal watch + additional functions, that I can use or not, in preference to what, if I’m honest, I still don’t consider a watch at all, which includes most of the so called “smart” wearables on offer so far. But as Pebble have shown here, the gap between the two disciplines appears to be narrowing – so as ever – Watch this Space.