Smartphones… Now What? A Smartwatch?

By Logan Arnett and Todd Bacile | January 31, 2013

Pebble Smartwatch

A New Mobile Device

Pebble just might be the answer to the title’s question. The Pebble is a “smartwatch” that connects to iPhones or Androids via Bluetooth. The watch is customizable just like your smartphone with the various apps that are available in the “WatchApp” store.

The notion of wearable computer devices has been around a long time. Some of you may remember back in the early 1990s a company by the name of Xybernaut Corp. as an early pioneer of wearable computer devices. Demand for its products never took off and the company ultimately filed for bankruptcy. Perhaps this idea was before its time, considering that today’s mobile device functionality has greatly changed since the 1990s.

Back to the Pebble: the simplest apps will allow the user to customize the watch face display and the overall theme of the watch. From there the possibilities seem to be endless. The team behind the Pebble is releasing an Open SDK for app developers to use their creativity to test the limits of the watch.

Compatibility with Mobile Apps

The Pebble already boasts a strong base of applications. Fitness-based applications  for biking, running, and even a rangefinder for the golf course each use the GPS from your phone along with the built-in accelerometer to monitor your movement. There are numerous push-notifications (Facebook, Twitter, Weather Alerts) that you can set your watch to vibrate. If your hands are full during a task and someone calls, texts, or e-mails you, one quick glance at your wrist can tell you how urgent that notification is.

The Pebble can also be used to play music or even as a controller for your music apps. Put your iPhone on the dock to your speakers and you can change the song or control the volume from your wrist. This initial base of apps appears to cover the basics and only time will tell what unique designs and apps will come from this new platform.

Appearance and Display

The watch itself has a very sleek and stylish appearance. The Pebble is available in three colors; Arctic White, Jet Black, and Cherry Red, and a fourth color that is being voted on by the companies kickstarter backers. The screen /watch face does not appear to be bulky at all, which allows for more comfort.

You can view the time or your notifications on the E-Paper display, even in direct sunlight, and the battery can last for over seven days with the display being in constant use. The display uses a scratch and shatter resistant lens to go along with the anti-glare E-Paper screen. The Pebble is even water-resistant, but they have not determined the exact certification level for this.

Is the Pebble the future of the digital and social world? We will have to wait and see as this “smartwatch” progresses through the preliminary generations. There are already rumors of some complications with production of the Pebble, but the first 500 were shipped out to kickstarter backers on January 23, 2013.

What apps would you want on your “smartwatch?” Leave your comments below.

Logan Arnett is a Director of Sales, Marketing, and Social Media in the hospitality industry. He enjoys keeping up with and trying to find the future of digital trends. You can connect with him on Twitter @Logan_Arnett and LinkedIn Todd Bacile teaches Electronic Marketing at Florida State University and is one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter. You can contact him on Twitter @toddbacile


One thought on “Smartphones… Now What? A Smartwatch?

  1. Pingback: QR Codes: underwhelming or misused by brands? | Todd Bacile's Marketing Blog

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