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Ars Technica Goes Close Up With the Pebble Smartwatch

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the watch-out-for-these-things dept.

Input Devices 140

Ars Technica takes a close look at the crowd-funded Pebble smartwatch. The reviewer had to put up with repeated delays in production as a Kickstarter backer, but seems happy with the watch and optimistic about the future of third-party apps; an SDK is due later this month. "It currently ships with three default watch faces, as well as 12 others that you can load onto the watch with the companion app (free on iOS and Android). By far my favorite custom watch face is 'Fuzzy Time,' which rounds the current time to the nearest 5-minute interval and translates that number to what you might say if your friend asked you the time. While seemingly trivial, I love this rough approximation of time. Rarely do I need to know that it's 5:13:23pm, but seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesome."

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fuzzy time eh? (4, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386289)

those of us who have "analog" clocks and watches are amused; also we'd probably have that smart watch just display analog clock face

Re:fuzzy time eh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43386335)

As a watch geek, I'm totally uninterested in an epaper watch. Even quartz watches are boring, who wants to see artificial watch hands?

Re:fuzzy time eh? (1, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386429)

those of us who grew up with mechanical clocks do. also, nothing artificial about using a quartz regulated electronic time source to kick mechanical hands around; even my quartz clocks go tick tick tick....

Re:fuzzy time eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43387431)

if you set the pebble to display one of its builtin analog watch faces the battery life goes from ~7 days to ~3 due to the second hand.

Re: fuzzy time eh? (3, Funny)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387943)

I've never really understood why they call it the second hand when it's really the third hand if you ask me.

Re: fuzzy time eh? (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388985)

it's really the third hand if you ask me.

What if we don't ask you? Does it remain the second hand then?

Hey, you started it...

Re: fuzzy time eh? (1)

drkim (1559875) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389129)

I've never really understood why they call it the second hand when it's really the third hand if you ask me.

You too?
Also:
Why do they call it the 'minute' hand - when it's the biggest hand?
And, why do they call it 'our' hand, when it is really a hand on 'my' watch?

Re:fuzzy time eh? (5, Interesting)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387921)

I've noticed the past decade or so that people who grow up with much more exposure to digital clocks seem to have a bit of difficulty with interval and passage of time.

If it's 10:11 am and I've got to be somewhere at 10:45, a glance at my old-fashioned* watch and it's a no-brainer to grasp that I've got about a half hour to get there. It's almost funny to ask a digital kid how long we've got to the appointment and watch him stop to do the math.

Analog approximation, one side of brain, done. Digital, one side of brain to the other and back.

Years ago I came across a good article on testing done to help choose analog or digital output for certain kinds of data when designing gauges and displays in cockpits and nuke plants, e.g. The folks who did the study referenced, among others, much of the same material used at PARC when designing GUI. I sure would not mind if people designing our current 'digital experience' displayed more awareness of these kinds of studies.

*Well, not so old-fashioned; it's got solar cells on the watch face keeping charged a battery which powers a quartz-oscillator and motor which drives the hands. I will say the pebble looks pretty neat, but I'll keep with what I've got.

Re:fuzzy time eh? (2, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388897)

Watch, I've stopped wearing one for most of the time and I am finding quite surprising how uncomfortable they truly are. I can't imagine what require me to put one back on all of the time, world war three and the disabling of the internet and all telecommunications? Once you carry a smart phone why carry a watch?

Re:fuzzy time eh? (0)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389673)

Watch, I've stopped wearing one for most of the time and I am finding quite surprising how uncomfortable they truly are.

Well aren't you the precious little snowflake? I don't even notice mine (until I want to quickly find out the time without fishing around for my phone in my pocket).

Re:fuzzy time eh? (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389831)

Belt and suspenders? Dunno, man, started wearing a watch in '61 or so, didn't get a cell until '06. Don't have (nor can afford) a smartphone, have just a phone that gets and makes calls and serves as an alarm clock.

Re:fuzzy time eh? (1)

servognome (738846) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388895)

I'm also a watch geek and I like the functionality of electronic and modern tech watches (I own a meta watch that I like to mess around with).
However, I have a special appreciation for classic mechanical watches. I think it's the mixture of art and engineering that intrigues me. They are also much more stylish, though I think smart watches will eventually catch up in this regard.

Re:fuzzy time eh? (5, Insightful)

Cow Jones (615566) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386891)

You know what?
Fuck fuzzy time.

This is one of my pet annoyances in most "web 2.0" products. All those forums giving the time of a message as "a year ago" are driving me mad. Some of them at least have the actual date and time in the title attribute, but that doesn't help much on a mobile device. Let the software be exact, and leave the fuzziness to me, please.

CJ

Re:fuzzy time eh? (3, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388247)

All of my rage when I see a timestamp on something that says "5 months ago" or "1 year ago". All. Of. My. Rage.

Re:fuzzy time eh? (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388553)

You know what?

Fuck fuzzy time.

This is one of my pet annoyances in most "web 2.0" products. All those forums giving the time of a message as "a year ago" are driving me mad. Some of them at least have the actual date and time in the title attribute, but that doesn't help much on a mobile device. Let the software be exact, and leave the fuzziness to me, please.

CJ

At that level, yes.

When it comes to recent posts though, it's handy to avoid time zone confusion.

Re:fuzzy time eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43388919)

*looks at Slashdot's timestamps on every post*

Huh? Timezone confusion? I don't care if it says "an hour ago" or "11:23" when it's 12:23, I'm not going to get confused by the time zones at all. Unless the interface doesn't translate the times to the timezone you're in so you can reference it well. Then, that's a whole additional issue with the interface. And all of them that do the fuzzy bullshit have the timezone issues down already anyhow.

(I am not the original poster. I am just a lurker)

Re:fuzzy time eh? (2)

isorox (205688) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389235)

As I understand, there's no common way of getting the timezone or offset of a given browser. Slashdot times are displayed in Europe/London (for me), as i'm logged in, but I'm in south Africa this week, israel and Italy after that, then on a multi stop tour of the far east.

Now I know the offset to home, however if I'm not logged in slashdot displays one of the American time zones - not sure which. Central rings a bell.

If I look at a random airs, it claims a time, no idea on the zone unless it specifies it. I then have to work out if GMT means GMT or Europe/London. If its in EST it usually means America/Eastern, but is that GMT-4 or -5?

Re:fuzzy time eh? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389687)

What's that got to do with telling the time on a watch?

I agree about the web 2.0 thing.

seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesome (0)

Nutria (679911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386309)

Why aren't you, a geek writer for a tech site, clever enough to do that approximating in your head?

Re:seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43386329)

Why aren't you, a geek writer for a tech site, clever enough to do that approximating in your head?

The writer of the article probably is clever enough to do the approximation in his head. The type of person who's going to wear that watch? Maybe not.

Re:seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesom (4, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386387)

anyone is clever enough to do that approximating in his head. some people find different versions of presentation to be aesthetically pleasing.

Re:seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesom (2)

Nutria (679911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386623)

That wasn't the tone of the original quote.

Re:seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesom (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387759)

i disagree.

he seems to prefer knowing the time to the nearest 5 or 15 minutes or whatever, and this watch gives it to him without his needing to process it mentally. since he calls the process "trivial," i can only conclude that, yes, he could do it himself like anyone else on the planet, but why bother?

more likely, he just think it's cool and will get over it in a few days when he finds himself toggling to the standard clock mode for every appointment, but whatever.

Re:seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesom (1)

Nutria (679911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387843)

Maybe most people *want* to be dumbed down.... :(

Re:seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesom (2)

retchdog (1319261) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387937)

jesus fucking christ. it's not dumbed down.

feynman has an anecdote where he tries to determine if people can count and read at the same time. his results were that half of the people he tested could, and the others could not. the ones who could, counted by imagining visually a clock face or such, and the numbers incrementing on that. the ones who couldn't counted by mentally counting verbally. there was no difference between the two groups in terms of IQ or other achievements. some people just think differently. (feynman's conclusion was that, if something this simple was that complicated, psychometry was totally hopeless.)

you know, a good analog watch gives more precision than an HH:MM:SS digital watch. is that dumbed down? no. some people like the digital readout; some people like the analog; and if you really need exact time you can get a watch with a millisecond timer.

Re:seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesom (0)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386673)

Ars has been bringing in new writers, most of whom are turning out to be low grade hacks ever since The Verge started taking chunks of marketshare. Doesn't help that post Apple / Samsung lawsuits, Apple has been getting a much more public backlash for being trendy arrogant bullshit and marketing. Ars' heavy pro-Apple slant is starting to cost them readership there too.

Still, editorially out of touch with both technophiles and the public, they put out articles like this:
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/04/i-was-an-ipad-skeptic/ [arstechnica.com]

The Pebble article was put out by someone completely new, doesn't even have a writer's bio on the site yet.

Then there is this new hack who is completely incomprehensible:
http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/04/inside-science-selling-and-upsizing-the-meal/ [arstechnica.com]

Re:seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesom (1)

Demanufacture (113381) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387137)

I wouldn't say that the website as a whole as a pro-Apple slant, although some of the individual writers certainly do. My biggest complaint is just the sheer volume of Apple-related pseudo-articles. They need to add some kind of filtering feature which allows articles with certain attributes (e.g. author) to be hidden, otherwise the signal-to-noise ratio is in danger of dropping too low.

Can anyone here suggest sites that are "like Ars was back when it was good"?

Re:seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesom (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387227)

Translation: aaronb1138 hates Apple, and assumes a popular tech site is doomed (DOOMED!) because they wrote something he disagrees with.

Re:seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesom (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387495)

I stopped reading Ars as well, for the same reason. They turned into too much of a fanboi site. TechCrunch and Forbes as well.

Re:seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesom (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387919)

Ah, well, welcome to Slashdot. We don't like nobody. You'll fit right in.

Even if we don't like you.

Re:seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesom (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389517)

I gave up on Ars when Jon Stokes left, as I realised that 95% of the articles they published that I actually read and then didn't come away thinking that the writer was an ignorant hack were written by him. They stayed in my RSS feeds for about a month without producing a single article worth reading, and then I removed them. Don't be too hard on their writers though. I responded to their last call for freelancers, but didn't end up doing anything for them because they pay somewhere between a quarter and a half of the market rate, so it's not surprising that they have difficulty getting competent people.

Waste of money. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43386311)

The iWatch will issue a quick and decisive butt kicking to this useless bauble.

All Apple product has shrinking market share (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386743)

The iWatch will issue a quick and decisive butt kicking to this useless bauble.

Why? In fact there is a big question whether anyone wants an iwatch at all. Currently I see many manufactures with smart watches coming Sony; Samsung; Google to name a few. Apple unlike its incredible run of iPod, iPhone, iPad has no advantages (Large American Fanbase!?)...and several disadvantages; vertical integration a past advantage has been squandered for short term profits (admittedly vast profits)...and is now a disadvantage. The [as yet vapourware] iwatch is launching into a very hostile, highly competitive *mature* market, with many major players...and products like this are already below $100 [and its very appealing].

Re:All Apple product has shrinking market share (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387941)

and products like this are already below $100 [and its very appealing]

You are just missing one small detail here. The presumed price of the iWatch (presuming it even exists) will be MORE expensive than everyone else. Thus, Apple will have a built in differentiator from the crowded field. One that they've used before to good effect.

Whether we think it's worth the added price is irrelevant (and I point out that Slashdot's long term ability to predict the popularity of various Apple products is a bit limited).

Re:All Apple product has shrinking market share (2)

green1 (322787) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388155)

That has never stopped them before. Apple is very good at taking existing products, removing features and usability, putting their own spin on them, doubling the price, and selling millions of them to people who think that Apple makes the only one and refuse evidence to the contrary.

Before the iPod there were cheaper, and more functional music players.
Before the iPhone there were cheaper, and more functional cell phones.

I predict this will be the same. There will be all sorts of smart watches on the market first, and that will do more than the Apple version, but Apple will still come in and sell millions of their version to their blind followers.

Either that, or people will just not buy in to the smart watch thing at all... I'm still sort of split on this one, I think I'm waiting for a "killer app" for it.

Re:All Apple product has shrinking market share (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43388557)

Spoken like a true hater engineer.
The success of these Apple products is not about the sum of functionalities, but about engineering them in a way that is much, much nicer to use than what people were used to.
Let's face it, you don't have ot be a fanboy to admit that before the iphone smarphones sucked. And the original ipod was so much nicer to use than the horrid competitors before it, where you typically had to browse files.
But, yes, here at slashdot where many people love typing vowel-less commands in a console such efforts are not appreciated.
I am curious what they'll do with a watch. If they do it well, it could be the start of the next step in truly personal/wearable computing (eventually even replacing the phone altogether). The current offerings (pebble, G-shock and a few more) are not that inspiring.

Re:All Apple product has shrinking market share (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388563)

The iWatch will issue a quick and decisive butt kicking to this useless bauble.

Why? In fact there is a big question whether anyone wants an iwatch at all.

Like most people, I rely on my phone telling me the time. However its a right hassle getting it out just to glance at it.

What would be awesome is a slimmed down device which just tells me the time (and maybe day of month), which I could wear on my wrist.

I trust apple will make something that fits this market that people don't even realise exists.

Re:All Apple product has shrinking market share (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389707)

Like most people, I rely on my phone telling me the time. However its a right hassle getting it out just to glance at it.

Why, apart from fashion, don't you wear a watch then?

What would be awesome is a slimmed down device which just tells me the time (and maybe day of month), which I could wear on my wrist.

If you can't be bothered to wear a wristwatch now, why would you bother wearing a "smartwatch" just to tell you the time and do a few other things, when to do those things comfortably you're going to need to have your smartphone with you anyway?

Re:All Apple product has shrinking market share (1)

backslashdot (95548) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389505)

The reason the iWatch will kick this things butt is because the iWatch will:

1. Have a speakerphone
2. Allow you to answer/defer/pre-ring silence calls
3. It will have a speakerphone
4. Will let you respond with canned texts using the touch UI or text back using the Voice UI, when you don't wish to answer in speakerphone mode that is.
5. Did I mention the iWatch will have a speakerphone feature?
6. It will have voice activation.

Priceless (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386317)

Kickstarter pledges: 99 bucks.
Pebble watch in retail 150 bucks.

Having a watch that will not tell you exact time an instead tell you 'fuzzy' time in 5 minute increments (in words, not numbers) and doing it at 5atm pressure under water?

You see where I am going with this.

Re:Priceless (3, Informative)

Goaway (82658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386417)

Actually, no, I don't.

Re:Priceless (3, Funny)

Stumbles (602007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386657)

Yeah I see where your going; approximately in a fuzzy amount, 165 feet.

Re:Priceless (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387065)

Having a watch that will not tell you exact time an instead tell you 'fuzzy' time in 5 minute increments (in words, not numbers) and doing it at 5atm pressure under water?

I'm sure when you are 165 feet below you don't want to know the exact duration of your dive. Plus or minus ten minutes is just fine :-)

(Well, otherwise you'd use a proper dive computer, and you'd be alive back on the surface.)

prior art (0)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386323)

I still have a copy of SuSE Pro 7 somewhere, that has a fuzzy time clock on KDE.

Re:prior art (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386341)

I still have a copy of SuSE Pro 7 somewhere, that has a fuzzy time clock on KDE.

I built a standalone clock like that, using an AtMega CPU with an LCD display. The original idea came from a New Yorker cartoon decades ago, showing such a clock in the window of a clock shop.

Re:prior art (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386395)

Yeah that was pretty cool. You could even adjust the level of fuzziness. I loved setting it high and have it tell me "late afternoon" or at the highest level "the middle of the week".

Re:prior art (1)

KugelKurt (908765) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386643)

Yeah that was pretty cool. You could even adjust the level of fuzziness. I loved setting it high and have it tell me "late afternoon" or at the highest level "the middle of the week".

You can still do that. This clock just became a separate applet since the introduction of Plasma Desktop. It's in the plasma-addons package.

Re:prior art (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389721)

Yeah that was pretty cool. You could even adjust the level of fuzziness. I loved setting it high and have it tell me "late afternoon" or at the highest level "the middle of the week".

Alternatively, you could stop taking so many drugs and you'd know things like what year it is without having to ask a computer.

Re:prior art (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386397)

Yep, I remember seeing that on KDE under Mandrake Linux in the late '90s. You could even adjust the level of "fuzziness," varying from readouts to the nearest minute through "mid-afternoon," "tuesday," "spring," or "20th century".

Re:prior art (1)

folderol (1965326) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386503)

The first fuzzy clock I saw was in the late 1980s on an Acorn Archimedes. The wording was pretty good anyway, but you could also edit the text file it was taken from. The look on people's faces when they saw "It's just gone quarter past three" was priceless.

Re:prior art (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387147)

*that's* where I've seen it before! RISC OS 3 had it!

Incidentally, it is also an option on RISC OS Open for the Raspberry Pi :)

Re:prior art (1)

NoMaster (142776) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387833)

The first one I saw was a program on a CP/M system in the mid-80's. Later in the 80's I had a similar program for PC/MS-DOS. Both were called "realtime", IIRC.

Around the same time I also had a talking watch - from Tandy / Radio Shack? - that spoke the time in the same fashion. I'd set the alarm for 4:25pm & play it over the PA at work when it went off - "Attention please! It's almost four thirty PM".

It could also be set to give a reminder 5 minutes after the alarm time - "Attention please! The time is now four thirty PM. Please hurry!"

Re:prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43388955)

Oh God. Visioneers. If you have not seen that movie, I recommend it.

The Jeffrey's Corporation, where the main character works, has a PA system that every minute goes like, "There are now five thousand minutes of productivity remaining" and such.

Your post made me think of that.

Re:prior art (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389349)

streaming it in about ten minutes... Windows Time...

Or, "Sometime before the Universe dies a heat death, thank you!"

Re:prior art (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389805)

I'd set the alarm for 4:25pm & play it over the PA at work when it went off - "Attention please! It's almost four thirty PM".

Why?

Re:prior art (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389733)

The first fuzzy clock I saw was in the late 1980s on an Acorn Archimedes. The wording was pretty good anyway, but you could also edit the text file it was taken from. The look on people's faces when they saw "It's just gone quarter past three" was priceless.

Some people are really easily impressed.

Re:prior art (1)

Rick Richardson (87058) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386555)

https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/202/fuzzy-clock/

Do you rememeber when... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43386351)

..watches ran on a battery lasting several years without recharging. That was awesome.

Re:Do you rememeber when... (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386403)

And phones that lasted for weeks, too.

Re:Do you rememeber when... (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386519)

And sex lasted ...

Well, I've got nothing.

Re:Do you rememeber when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43386821)

I imagine this is where the fuzzy time clock face comes in useful.

Re:Do you rememeber when... (4, Funny)

folderol (1965326) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386525)

I've got a solar powered watch :) The only annoying thing is it doesn't do daylight saving, so I have to set it twice a year.

Re:Do you rememeber when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43386783)

A solar powered device that can't save daylight? Kind of ironic!

Re:Do you rememeber when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43387387)

A strange choice for a slashdot user unless the glow of display is enough to charge it. I would recommend a automatic watch [wikipedia.org] which winds the main drive with a weight as you move your arm. On second thought, a typical slashdotter might break it from over winding...

Re:Do you rememeber when... (1)

green1 (322787) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388193)

I have one of those from about 60 or 70 years ago... a Birks "Eternamatic" I really like it, unfortunately it's taken to not telling time too accurately any more (gains about 20mins to an hour and a half a day) so I've stopped wearing it.

Re:Do you rememeber when... (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387805)

If it's like mine, you also have to manually set it for each of the timezones. So most of them are wrong for 1/2 of the year.

Re:Do you rememeber when... (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388587)

If it's like mine, you also have to manually set it for each of the timezones. So most of them are wrong for 1/2 of the year.

As soon as I step on a plane I set my watch for the destination time zone. Really helps with jet lag (not that I've needed it recently - not been more than 4 hours off home since January)

Re:Do you rememeber when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43386827)

Do you remember when watches just gave the time and nothing else?

Traditional watches aren't going away, and for those of us that like the functionality that these smart watches offer, we'll adapt.

Re:Do you rememeber when... (2)

antdude (79039) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387309)

Yep, my Casio Databank calculator watches did that. I still wear one (150 model). :)

Re:Do you rememeber when... (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387977)

Yup, I do. The battery was replaced, not recharged. Somewhere I've got a fine $20 Timex that was usually good for about two and a half years between batteries.

I remember watches that had to be wound every day. I also remember when self-winding watches came into the consumer market. So long as you moved around a bit every day they worked fine. The arm you wore them on got a little bit stronger as well.

Re:Do you rememeber when... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389833)

..watches ran on a battery lasting several years without recharging. That was awesome.

They still do.

In the last ten years I have replaced watch batteries 4 times over 3 watches

I would buy one. (1)

p00kiethebear (569781) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386367)

Looks like a fun novelty. I'll wait to see what kind of third party apps start coming out before I make my purchase. That will make or break the sale for me.

Re:I would buy one. (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388151)

..if it was "retina"

More interesting than "quarter after five" (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386391)

"[n] seconds until your appointment/train departure/etc."

While approximate time of day is a useful gimmick, you don't really need a watch to keep track of that.

Re:More interesting than "quarter after five" (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386407)

(The nice thing about this watch, of course, is that you absolutely could make it do that while looking up your calendar or time table.)

SDK coming soon??? (2)

xombo (628858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386515)

They still haven't released an SDK and they won't do so for a while after it ships?

What are people going to do with it while they wait for developers to receive their device and build apps?

I owned a much more feature rich device in a similar watch form-factor, the WiMM One. While the device was nice, there was never a good enough set of apps with addictive utility to me that justified the constant battle with battery life. It launched with a complete app SDK and was built on Android so it was trivial to develop apps for. This device doesn't have an SDK available and isn't as conventional. I suspect it will meet much the same fate once these initial orders are fulfilled.

Re:SDK coming soon??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43388479)

They still haven't released an SDK and they won't do so for a while after it ships?

What are people going to do with it while they wait for developers to receive their device and build apps?

Let's ask everyone who bought the original iPhone :)

Re:SDK coming soon??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43388949)

Er, it's a watch. They'll use it to TELL THE TIME.

If you say so... (2)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386523)

Rarely do I need to know that it's 5:13:23pm, but seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesome."

Perhaps not in seconds, but I rather like to know how many minutes I've left to catch the bus since three and eight are quite different. I guess I really only look at the seconds if I'm trying to time something, which is rare but unless it's spoken I'd rather have it with numbers... how often do people really write "quarter past three" instead of 3:15 pm (or actually 15:15 around here)?

Not Awesome (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388409)

Rarely do I need to know that it's 5:13:23pm, but seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesome

Let's say I want to seep my tea for five minutes. That means I want to know when five minutes is from the last time I looked at my watch. Even a few minutes window there is no good. Even just 5:15 showing as something non-numeric is not great as I have to mentally parse it. If I have any kind of clock, I'm in it for the time. If I can't have that why even bother?

Where I don't mind wording like that is on time-stamps of messages older than a day. Then I'm mostly OK with it. But current data, show me the data and not a layer removed.

Re:If you say so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43388515)

Watches for sailing have things like a high contrast pie-chart that shows the count-down time to a race start in a very nice analog fashion that you can read at a glance while jumping around your boat riggings. They even have ones with a series of pie charts indicating the three minute count down... as each one finishes, it stays one solid color while the next one starts showing a fractional sweep.

Re:If you say so... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389853)

Rarely do I need to know that it's 5:13:23pm, but seeing that it's 'quarter after five' is awesome."

Perhaps not in seconds, but I rather like to know how many minutes I've left to catch the bus since three and eight are quite different. I guess I really only look at the seconds if I'm trying to time something, which is rare but unless it's spoken I'd rather have it with numbers... how often do people really write "quarter past three" instead of 3:15 pm (or actually 15:15 around here)?

I've never lived anywhere where you could time buses down to the nearest minute, do you live in Switzerland or somewhere?

Meh (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386537)

I thought it would look like a pebble. That would have been cool. Instead it just looks like a standard issue watch.

Does it have a Daliclock mode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43386753)

I'd consider buying one if it did.

Re:Does it have a Daliclock mode? (1)

cduffy (652) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386813)

Part of what makes e-ink awesome is that it only sucks battery while it's updating.

Daliclock means it's updating all the time. That would suck.

Re:Does it have a Daliclock mode? (1)

javispedro (1109305) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387543)

Np, it does not have an e-ink display.

Re:Does it have a Daliclock mode? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389261)

It has a "memory LCD" display, also described as "epaper," which suggests it similarly uses less power while static.

Maybe better for android? (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386867)

If I had been proactive and ordered in the first few days of the Kickstarter, I might be on the Pebble bandwagon. As it was I really did not get over to Kickstarter until it was over and at that point my impression, which has been played out, it that there was no date for shipping.

In a way I am glad I did not go in. Apple, as we can all agree, is not very open on the interfaces to iOS, which is why there are so many cool gadgets for Android and so few for iPhone. From what I can tell from the site, the battery life is not so good when used with iPhone and the only thing that really works with a stock iPhone is the messaging, and I don't even know if that includes imessage.

it will be interesting to watch this evolve over the summer. If the battery life improves. If they interface better with the iPhone. If they can ship quickly.

Re:Maybe better for android? (1)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387755)

As it was I really did not get over to Kickstarter until it was over and at that point my impression, which has been played out, it that there was no date for shipping.

Sure there was. It was just set to fuzzy time: "Ships sometime this century!"

Re:Maybe better for android? (1)

DaveOrZach (1002903) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388035)

Apple supported Bluetooth 4 (low energy) before Android and as a result several useful and cool gadgets were released for iOS before Android (Fitbit One, etc.) I think developers had to write custom drivers/interfaces for each low energy Android device before the latest version of Jelly Bean. There is no doubt Android is more open than iOS but it is a lie to say their isn't cool gadgets for the iOS devices.

I have one, and really like it. (4, Interesting)

gerardv (2884419) | about a year and a half ago | (#43386887)

I have one, and while it is a bit rough and clunky in some ways, there are three things about it that really work well for me: 1. Caller ID and SMS messages displayed. My phone is now always on silent and often left in my bag, because the watch alerts me better than a ring tone does. 2. Music play functions, so I can change tunes easily while driving (I have a borrowed car so not worth installing a kit). 3. The big watchface with big numbers because without my specs my eyesight sucks. So all in all I am a happy customer.

Re:I have one, and really like it. (4, Informative)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | about a year and a half ago | (#43387155)

I liked mine for the three days it worked. Seeing who was calling, seeing text messages and FB messages without having to pull my phone out was great.

The fact that it would not charge, or that I've been waiting a week since I emailed tech support (from in-app, which I have to admit was nice) and got the robo-response below is something I like less.

"Pebble | Apr 01, 2013 07:33AM UTC

Hello,

Thank you for supporting Pebble!

We are currently experiencing a higher-than-average amount of emails as we start shipping more Pebbles to our Backers.

Please do not send multiple messages about the same issue, as it will only delay responses further. We’ve prepared a list of answers to common questions, so please take a few minutes to check if your question has already been answered. . ."

Re: I have one, and really like it. (2)

cerberusss (660701) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388615)

Kickstarter is not a store. As part of your backing/pledge, you got a gift. That gift is a first run of the product, and warranty is not the same as a product you buy in a store. Or so the party line goes, I'm not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing.

You're going the wrong way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43387841)

2. Music play functions, so I can change tunes easily while driving (I have a borrowed car so not worth installing a kit).
3. The big watchface with big numbers because without my specs my eyesight sucks.

Well, as long as you can change tunes easily who needs specs for driving?

Re:I have one, and really like it. (4, Informative)

epine (68316) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388463)

I've had mine for about 5 days now. So far it's worked pretty much flawlessly. It was a bit thicker than I anticipated, fairly large in the frame, and maybe not suitable for a woman's wrist, although the screen itself is small enough if the frame were a bit more compact. I've got a second one on order, in one of the colours they are not yet making.

I was surprised to get a notification this morning with my phone in one corner of the house, and my watch in the opposite corner (on the sill in the bathroom while taking a shower). I really didn't expect the BT to work at that range with a 90 degree bend from a large room into the hallway and then through a closed door at the far end. Perhaps it was a bit of fluke. Not enough data yet.

The vibration is surprisingly audible on the wrist, and even more so when the watch is left lying on a flat surface. This partly makes up for not having a beep.

Features are pretty limited as it stands, but the interface is dead easy to use with the four buttons provided. On the plus side, one can program a large number of distinct alarms. On the down side, there's no way to disable an alarm without deleting it completely.

I have two LCD screens on my desk. One is polarized horizontally, and the other vertically. With my polarized shades one display goes so dark I wonder if it's turned on--until I tip my head to either side. This causes the watch display to look a little funky when there are not other lights on in the room: different regions go darkish as I tilt my hand. For two puzzled seconds earlier today I thought the e-paper display had leaked.

It's super visible in bright light and a little hard to read in early dusk before you reach for the light switch. I turned my backlight off to better monitor battery life without accidental backlight activations. The wrist flick works, but it works too often if you have busy hands. No, I don't mean typing. No, I don't mean stereotypical activities, either.

I would never have bought one without the promise of an SDK to allow me to make customizations. There are aspects of my life not tied to a 24 hour clock, and I want my watch to display these other relationships as well as standard time. I'm happy enough with it, but it's just a silly toy for me until Pebble releases their SDK.

Fuzzy time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43387917)

You mean that python script I've had since 2009?
http://codepad.org/36fPqZoa

Forget the Metronome (1)

Epeeist (2682) | about a year and a half ago | (#43388975)

Could you have a watch face like this one [youtube.com]

Yawn (1)

Horshu (2754893) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389205)

Microsoft called and wants its SPOT watch back. Oh, wait, no it doesn't.

I'm sold (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389239)

I've always wanted a watch which could tell me the approximate time and requires charging once a week.

British English (1)

bob_jordan (39836) | about a year and a half ago | (#43389763)

Hello,

Any chance of a British English option so "quarter after five" becomes "quarter past five"?

Thanks, Bob.

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