An In-Depth Look at Pebble Time
Lots of Buzz Over The Pebble Time
The buzz about smart watches is building, especially since the Apple Watch was just released after much anticipation. However, several other tech companies have been working on some pretty impressive smartwatches, many of which are already on the market. Apple’s product may be getting a ton of publicity, but they’re not the only player in this game.
Pebble first made news in 2012, when it was able to raise over $10 million USD through its Kickstarter campaign for the first version of its smartwatch; this remains one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns ever. When the Pebble Steel was released two years later, it was also a best seller. Now, Pebble is back with a new Kickstarter ask and a new product in development: Pebble Time.
Pebble Time For Prime Time
There’s no way to misinterpret the success of Pebble’s latest crowdfunding venture: their campaign sits at over $18 million USD as of this writing (the initial goal was $500,000 USD), and it’s got over a week to go, making it the second most successful crowdfunding campaign of all time. It’s not at all hard to see why people are excited about this product.
Some of Pebble Time’s specs: it’s got a colour e-paper display, can send and receive text and voice messages, gets notifications, and has a built-in fitness tracker. The battery should last a week with regular use, plus it’s lightweight, water resistant, and more low profile and ergonomic than earlier Pebble models. However, the reason it’s called Pebble Time may be the most innovative thing about this watch.
Timeline is Pebble’s cool new function that’s intended to keep you up to date and caught up. (Don’t confuse it with Facebook’s Timeline.) It’s a calendar function that shows you important items (like emails, scheduled events, sports scores, reminders, and more) pinned in chronological order. You can include pins from apps as you see fit. This feature is helpful and impressive, and while it currently works only with Pebble Time, the plan is to make it backward-compatible with Pebble Steel and the original Pebble.
Two New Versions
There’s Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel. What’s the difference? Well, Steel has a longer battery life; it goes up to ten days compared to just seven for the Time. The main difference is in materials and appearance, though. Steel is marine grade stainless steel rather than polycarbonate, and its bands are either leather or stainless steel rather than silicone. Due to material differences, Steel weighs slightly more (62.3g instead of 42.5g), but other than that, the major workings of each watch are identical.
Steel and Straps
The 2014 Pebble Steel can do many of the things that Pebble Time will do, minus Timeline for now. It may be a bit bulkier than the new version, and it may seem less speedy, but it’s still a solid watch that’s available now for a lower cost than Pebble Time. Plus, it’s easy to customise, with lots of different straps available. They run the gamut from formal to rugged, and they’re not too expensive either. Price start at around £10, and there are lots of styles at that price point.
The Double-Edged Sword of Apple
Apple’s impact on Pebble’s products is both good and bad. As with a lot of other products that Apple produces, they’ve raised interest in smart watches in general. However, the loyal Apple fanboys and fangirls will automatically choose the Apple Watch over Pebble’s offerings — or anything else, for that matter.
Of course, as the coexistence of iOS and Android has shown, there’s room in the marketplace for multiple devices and multiple operating systems. Lesser smartwatches may not last on the market for long, but $18 million is a good indicator that Pebble Time will do very well.