Thursday, February 28, 2013

Here is the Pebble watch!

I joined this Kickstarter project not too long after it was posted.

The Pebble watch is an extension of your smartphone using an e-paper display, and bluetooth for connectivity with your phone.

I wanted one because when I go running (or really any workout) I put the phone in a case strapped to my arm, with my headphones plugged in.  I can't see the display or control the device from there...but it is out of the way and secure.

The obvious problem with that is if I get a call, if I answer with the remote, I can't screen the calls.  If I get a text etc, I will miss it.

So I really wanted some way to view what was going on with the phone, via a watch.  About a year after I decided I needed that, the Pebble watch Kickstarter project was released.

For those not familiar with Kickstarter, it is a way for an entrepreneur to get funding for a project...donations range from a small donation, to buying a finished product.

So the Pebble group came up with a (not smart) watch that was exactly what I was looking for.

For more info about that you can visit Kickstarter or the Pebble folks.

Pebble Kickstarter Video from Pebble Technology on Vimeo.

There has been some complaints from other owners, but I don't have any.

I find the display extremely legible, the watch and band are a nice fit for my average size wrists.  (although I don't like plastic bands, so I will eventually swap that out)

There are a couple of areas for improvement, and as the software matures, I expect those items will be fixed.

I am currently using an Android phone which apparently is much more compatible than the iPhone, due to limitations of the iPhone itself.

(you can individually select email accounts...I left those out of the picture for privacy reasons)

You can have as many or as few announcements as you want, mine is set up to show caller ID (via contacts) for incoming calls, text messages, facebook messages, email from one account, and calender alerts.

There are some good videos out there demonstrating the device, so I will let you look for those, but here are some pictures.

     Backlight off                           Backlight on (wrist activated) 

Menu  (part)                                     Music control


So as is, it is just what I wanted, the caller ID, and message alerts are perfect (screen lights up with message, and the watch vibrates)

This is what I want to improve.

There is one submenu system with the different watch faces, music control, set alarm, and settings all together.

-the settings submenu has your airplane mode.

1. So what I want is to have all the watch faces within the settings.  Thereby cleaning up the first menu.

Next, only the upper left button does anything when the watch is showing...if a message pops up then the two big buttons on the right are used to scroll through the message.

2. So I want an easier way to get to the music controller.  The other items you will use once in a while, set it and leave it.  The music control is something that would be operated regularly (if at all).  Maybe the middle right button for the music control window, since the big buttons on the right select tracks, and the button on the right is the esc/back key.

3. Finally I want a different watch face...a dual time zone one...

Now there is supposed to be a SDK out to allow programming the watch face as well as app integration.  Users have only been getting their Pebbles in the last couple of weeks, so it will be a little while before third party apps show up.

My summary is, I am happy with my Pebble watch, and look forward to the software improvements.

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