Pebble smart watch first thoughts

Months and months ago (May 2012 to be precise) I signed up for my second Kickstarter project called “Pebble” which as most of the world knows by now was aiming to create a smart watch which integrates with your phone for alerts and apps. First thing to say is that I really enjoyed the process of watching the watch be developed and certainly wasn’t one of those people moaning about how long the thing took to create. It went viral so delays, even large ones were to be expected.

That being said when the package arrived yesterday it did feel more like a gift than something I had paid for because the gap between the two events was over eight months.

The Pebble package which awaited me

The Pebble package which awaited me

So the unboxing. A really nice package with very little in it, the watch, the charging cable and a message to visit a web site. At the moment I’m running an Android phone so I went to the Google Play store and downloaded the app and tried to set up the syncing. I assume I did things in slightly the wrong order as there was a fairly unintuitive process which required me to go into the main settings for the phone then drill down into Accessibility and enable the Pebble option under Services. This is where a little user manual might have been useful but it really only took 30 seconds to work out.

The thing which took slightly longer to resolve was that as soon as I turned on the Accessibility options for Pebble my phone speaking everything I did even though the Talkback was disabled. Apparently this is a bug with Samsung phones and there is a workaround here which solved the issue for me.

So at this point I have a watch which can tell the time and will send me notifications whenever I receive an SMS, email or phone call. The vibrate functions really well, it’s impossible to miss it and even now I am finding that I am digging my phone out of my pocket less often and I can even imagine that in meetings being able to glance at the watch to see what the incoming item is will be far less intrusive and rude than checking my phone or tablet.

When I posted a photo of it on my wrist, Carl Tyler commented that it looked like I had a Palm Pilot strapped to my wrist. Well I contend that I have very delicate wrists and that really it looks a lot larger in photos than it looks or feels like in real life. We’ll pause at this point for you to write your own joke. 

And of course there has to be a but doesn’t there. At the moment beyond the alerts and telling the time that is it. There is the promise of third party applications but we haven’t seen them as yet. 

As things stand from my point of view it’s a good watch but I am hopeful that it will become much more over time. For the moment however it is an expensive toy. 

Most of our gadgets are that anyway so I’m happy. 

Is that a palm pilot on my wrist?

Is that a palm pilot on my wrist?