Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Pebble: a year with wearble technology

Last year, I bought a Pebble watch. I liked the fact it worked with iOS as well as Android and was a Kickstarter project. At around $100, it seemed a bargain. Little did I know, I might had made a smartest decision re wearable technology.

The Pebble is open to developers. At first, I was all about the watch faces. I love the German language version in particular. There are apps which you can use to trigger your camera, compass application which tell you what direction you are headed in, a Magic 8 ball app for portents. You can use eight apps at a time.

With my Pebble, I became a total convert to the wristwatch. If I was waiting for a text or a call, I could put away my phone. My buzzing little wrist would alert me. You can get really granular with what triggers alerts on your phone, which then sends them to your wrist to make it work for you. There were some mis-steps -- the time I accidentally started playing Ella Fitzgerald when I was trying to check the time in the middle of a standardized test comes to mind. But it is amazing how liberating this tool, which has the potential to be a shackle, actually is in practice.

What everyone always wants to know: the fitness apps. A couple of years ago, everyone was about little digital bracelet pedometers. I have friends who are always checking their FitBits or Fuelbands. Frankly, I wasn't curious, and I only just downloaded the My Steps fitness app with the Apple announcements. I learned that I walk more than I thought I did, especially at home.

Several people have asked me if I'm going to buy the Apple watch. But I feel like I am charging this eink one all the time, and the battery predictions of the Apple are pretty dire at a quarter to a fifth the life per charge of my Pebble. It almost makes me want one of those Rolexes that winds itself from your wrist motions.

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