The latest and greatest thing to come out of Canonical Design is the Linux based, Kickstarter funded, E-Pebble smart watch which recently began taking pre-orders (via their Kickstarter page) after successfully reaching their target funding.
The device sports an E-Ink display with a resolution of 144 x 168 , Bluetooth 2.1, a teeny-tiny vibrating motor for alerts, and app installation via the dedicated Pebble app store which is accessible on both Android and iOS. It also features a three-axis accelerometer which third party apps will be able to make full use of using the Pebble SDK. This is Allerta's slimmest device to date and reduces some of the uber-geek stigma which came with its predecessors bulk.
So what makes this device news worthy in my opinion? The reason is simple. The E-Pebble is the first generation of smart watches that i could actually see myself using. Historically speaking the smart watch / wrist-computer has suffered from technological limitations (I owned one of the original Casio camera watches and trust me i know this first hand) such as the need to be topped up with juice on an all too regular basis, a girth which has no place on the wrist of any normal human being and seriously lack-luster integration which mobile devices. While smart watch was undoubtably a cool concept, at the same time it was also very gimmicky. It seems, however that the E-Pebble has rectified most if not all of the aforementioned issues allowing for 7+ day usage on a single charge, a daylight readable monochrome E-Ink display (with a backlight for when its dark) and a super svelte profile. Now while all of that is cool, could i see it being a beneficial addition to my daily smartphone use? Without a doubt.
I walk everywhere and when i walk i listen to music via my Android smartphone. However i am very fickle when it comes to my music and i jump around a lot which requires me to take my phone out of and put back into my pocket on a regular basis, navigating the tangle of headphone wires which i have threaded trough my jacket and shirt as i do. This is where the E-Pebble's Google music (my current Music player of Choice on Android) integration would be invaluable allowing me to pause, play and select music from my library, right on the device. This problem is not limited to music playback however, the process has to be repeated when checking the time, checking for new messages, incoming calls etc so having all of that accessible from my watch without a wrist mounted sky scrapper jutting out makes a lot of sense to me. I have embedded the promo video of the device in action so you can get a feel for exactly what i am talking about.
The E-Pebble weights in at 115 USD or 87.7 Euro at the current exchange rate and If you wish to get your hands on one you can pre-order via the E-Pebble's Kickstarter page.
I have to say, this could well be my next watch.