The Pebble Smartwatch – A year on the wrist

Pebble A Year On

Time flies! So do notifications, watch faces and apps, all to my Pebble. One year on am I still as happy as I was?

Well, the short answer is yes. But that does a disservice to just how much the Pebble has changed my digital life.

The story of how Pebble came to be, has been well documented by me and the internet at large, so I’m not going to go over it again. What I am going to do is look at what has happened.

Hardware wise, the device has stood up to an active lifestyle. I’ve replaced the default strap with a nice leather one from Fossil. The device itself has a few marks to the sides but no scratches to the main face.
I mentioned that a metal Pebble would be excellent and sure enough, it’s been released. With hindsight though, I’m glad I got mine, as the strap I’ve chosen suits the futuristic style more.

When it comes to living with a Pebble day to day, there have been a number of changes.

Firstly, there are the feelings that come with controlling a device by remote. Like the first people to get remote controls for TVs, this feels a bit like witchcraft.

Skipping music tracks when out for a run or pausing them then you’re about to talk to someone, removes the barrier that’s created when your draw your device.

The best feeling of being ‘in the future’ so far has been when streaming a video from my iPhone to my Apple TV and getting up to get something from the kitchen and pausing what was playing on the TV from my Pebble. There was an audible nerdy giggle at that.

The second closest ‘future feeling’ came with the 2.0 software update. This brought with it a new control app and many more apps for the Pebble. Arriving at a location and checking in on Foursquare from my Pebble was also, epically gratifying in a geeky sense.

The biggest single change in my life has been in the relationship I have with my iPhone. With all of the notifications that I deem important finding their way to my wrist, I take my phone out of my pocket less. If it’s on the desk, I don’t tend to reach for it, I look at my wrist. When driving, I can glance at my wrist (as many people in the UK seem to forget, it’s illegal to hold a mobile phone when driving).

Nights out, meetings, going to the cinema, sitting in restaurants, waiting in queues and in many more situations I have found that I’ve switched from my main screen to my wrist screen.

With that though, has come a revelation. I’m the only one looking up. Like someone who as woken up from a coma to find that everyone else is in one.

Perhaps that’s too extreme an analogy but it is the case to vast extent. We’ve never been so connected and so distant. Now I see that, like when Neo started seeing the Matrix for what it was.

Does this depress me? No.
Why? Because, I’m an early adopter. I’ve gotten somewhere first by my own choice. The next 5 years will be transformative when it comes to the wearables market. Apple will launch theirs, the Google Gear devices from Motorola and LG will land and who knows, for Samsung, perhaps third time will be a charm.

When these little second screens become commonplace, I and the other 300,000 + Pebble users won’t be the only ones looking up and perhaps then we will actually say hello to one an other.




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