Monday, March 2, 2015

New smartwatches

​​I find the Pebble smartwatch to be a handy tool – it alerts me to upcoming meetings, shows me incoming text messages, and tells me who’s calling. I have a plug-in that talks to the Endomondo exercise tracking app that shows me how far I’ve walked and how fast, and I use it to receive SMS messages with security codes for several apps I use – all without hauling out my phone and logging in.

Pebble is releasing a new watch this spring called Pebble Time. It’ll be out sometime in May for $200, just in time to compete with the Apple Watch (that will probably go on sale in April.) The Pebble kickstarter campaign for the new watch is off to a roaring start - $12 million on a $500,000 goal, so interest is definitely high.

The biggest difference between the new Pebble and their older models is a color e-ink display - the e-ink display is great for outdoor use. It also has a built-in microphone for dictating responses to texts, or making quick reminder notes (up to 15 seconds.) And, unlike the Apple watch it can go up to a week between charges (mine typically lasts 3-4 days.) There are some new software features to let you scoll through notifications, appointments, etc. In addition to showing up on their new product, they’ll also be releasing this feature to existing Pebble watches.

Pebble is also working on “smart bands” (from third party suppliers) – bands that contain additional features, like batteries, heart-rate monitors, etc.

The Apple Watch will have a touch-sensitive display, a higher resolution screen and intimate integration with the iPhone – but it’s considerably more expensive starting at $350. It may have some of the “smart band” features of the Pebble built in.

Have you used any of the current crop of Smartwatches? Are you interested in these new products from Pebble or Apple?

Feel free to chime in, below.

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