2015 aims to be the year of the smartwatch. Already virtually any brand who wants to have something to say in that market that starts now propose your device (or several) and will start the race, which will fund but in which the first sprint is key. Samsung, Apple, Sony, Motorola, LG, Huawei…
We are in the year 2015. The entire market is occupied by smartwatches advanced, expensive and short life battery…? No! A watch born Kickstarter resists still and always the invader…
Almost the only company that is out of this trend is Pebble, that has presented its new watch Advanced Time. When it seemed that this proposal would perish among the sharks. Will it resist? It has little chance of being more than a timely success, but their effort and stubbornness because the intangible win the tangible they are worthy of admiration.
To understand the phenomenon of Pebble, at least from my point of view, respond primarily to intangible and not-so-obvious aspects. You have found me it especially in this second (or third, according to what we want to see) version, Pebble Time. Here’s my whys:
- It is a toy, but positive in the sense of the word. My colleague JaviPas is quite clear: the Pebble looks like a toy by its design. I add here that it is precisely one of its attractions, very motivated by that screen color, the pixelation of the interface… Come on, that more should be doing. Pebble is at one end which curiously makes it interesting for a part of the users. If not, think about how something like Amiibo is triumphed.
- Compulsive buying. If we join Kickstarter, an advertisement closed at a certain time and price starting from 159 dollars, everything seems a conspiracy to tempt us with a compulsive purchase. And that did not reach the first buyers up to the month of May. Logically the compulsive purchase threshold each have it where you can or want to. Which is not to me about money.
- Belonging to a community. With 1,000,000 buyers from the previous version, 6,000 applications outputs 26,000 developers… buy the new Pebble is something as well as keep or entering a sect or exclusive club.
- We can and breed. Controversial or not, buy a Pebble is part of struggle against caste. Yes, it is fashion and all that, but I do not think that many buyers of Pebble have made it believe that will be the platform that offers more in the segment of the smartwatch. Simple instinct of survival. Conservation of the species. Of can.
- No brand or specific smartphone related. Again pulling the previous thread, they can also be attractive trust your money to a proposal that is not associated with major brands, multinational or smartphones in particular. There is only compatible with iOS and Android.
Much of what I have told, mainly related to the compulsive purchase, the community and remain “outside the caste” or be the alternative, it is checked with the choice of Kickstarter again as a method of release.
After the first year, a success with more than 10 million dollars raised (a 10,000% of what you asked for), the previous Pebble passed to be able to buy in the shop of the company. Why not follow as well? Did need to return to a campaign of collective funding?
The new record which is about to get (he raised a million dollars in just half an hour and already nearly 10 million of the first model) has given the reason.
If we depart from our assessment everything said above, us down with specification sheet. So at the end we will demonstrate if the Pebble works and is valid or not. And there are what we?
Developments are mainly the inclusion of a microphone to be able to reply with voice messages that reach us (but does not include hands-free function), a color screen (up to 64 is able to show) and a renewed operating system that aspires to win more community developers and integration with third-party.
All the more interesting, both positive and negative, is the choice of the screen. The panel is an LCD which does not require backlighting (although including it when the light falling on the screen is not enough) can provide up to 64 colors.
From Pebble not disclosed the manufacturer, but it is Japanese, it seems that small dealer, and possibly similar to suggest from Japan Display, whose LCD Reflective-type ECB only consume a 0.10% than what a traditional LCD panel. With this election that we won in autonomy within the reach of any other smartwatch (promise 7 days), but it is also true that the resolution and quality of the display of the Pebble has nothing to do with a smartwatch of Motorola, Samsung, Sony or Apple. Light years.
The big question is on the operating system that debuts. It will be compatible with applications and ‘faces’ of the previous models, but the potential is infinitely higher… provided that they have the support of the fearsome developers. By now have announced some other agreement e.g. with Evernote, Jawbone, Yelp, Paypal or Runkeeper, but I do not think that the Pebble phenomenon has travel not muscle enough in a few months to attract third-party that make differences in their platform.
The good news is that people there are former webOS, as Migicovski, who are leading the Pebble software with good ideas, as the TimeLine posed as nerve centre of expertise with Pebble and where anyone can enter content via a web API.
Precisely what further has its platform is the idea of a port for communication with third party hardware that could be included within an interchangeable belt accessories, but is an investment that costs assume that major brands adopt.
More than 10 million dollars which will get safe, are impressive, but making numbers, they would be little more than 50,000 buyers. They are many more when you advance the year and put on sale, but I do not think that they achieve or keep crumbs of what the smartwatchs market will be moved. Beautiful fish in the Aquarium, but little to do against sharks.
By the way, is already may? Say this for the Pebble Time I have asked.