2015 aims to be the smartwatch year. Almost any brand that wants to have something to say in that market that starts now will propose its device (or several) and will begin the race, which will be in the background but in which the first sprint is key. Samsung, Apple, Sony, Motorola, LG, Huawei…
We are in the year 2015. The whole market is occupied by advanced, expensive and battery-powered smartwatches of short duration… Everything? Do not! A watch born of Kickstarter still resists and always to the invader …
Almost the only company that gets out of that trend isPebble, which has introduced its new Time Clock advanced. When it seemed that this proposal would perish among the sharks. Will he resist? It has little chance of being more than a punctual success, but its effort andstubbornness because the intangible gains tangible are admirable.
Understanding the phenomenon of Pebble, at least from my point of view, responds primarily to intangible and not so obvious aspects. I found it especially in this second (or third, as we wanted to see) version, Pebble Time. Here are my whys:
It is a toy, but in the positive sense of the word.My partner JaviPas is clear: Pebble looks like a toy for its design. I would add here that it is precisely one of its attractions, very motivated by that color screen, thepixelated interface… Come on, you must be getting older . Pebble is at one end that curiously makes it interesting for a part of the users. If not, think about how something like Amiibo is triumphing.
Compulsive shopping. If we join Kickstarter, an announcement closed at a certain time and the starting price of $ 159, it all seems a conspiracy to tempt us with a compulsive purchase. And that will not reach the first buyers until the month of May. Logically the threshold of compulsive buying each has it where it can or wants. That neither is that me about money.
Belonging to a community. With 1,000,000 buyers from the previous version, 6,000 apps out of 26,000 developers … buying the new Pebble is something like staying or entering an exclusive sect or club.
We can and caste. Controversial or not, buying a Pebble has some fighting against caste. Yes, it is fashionable and all that, but I do not think that many Pebble buyers have made it convinced that it will be the platform that offers the most in the smartwatch segment. Simple instinct for survival. Conservation of the species. From We can .
No specific brand or smartphone related. Again pulling the thread above, it can also be attractive to entrust your money to a proposal that is not related to major brands, multinationals or smartphones in concrete. There is only iOS and Android support here.
A lot of what I have told you, mainly related to compulsive shopping, community and being “out of caste” or being the alternative, is checked with the choice of Kickstarter again as a launching method.
After the first campaign, a success with more than 10 million dollars raised (a 10,000% of what they requested), the previous Pebble were able to be bought in the company’s own store. Why not continue like this? What was the need to return to a collective financing campaign?
The new record he is about to get (he raised a million dollars in just half an hour and already touches the 10 million of the first model) has been right.
If we separate from our assessment all the above, we would stick with the specification sheet. With what in the end it will show us if the Pebble works and is valid or not. And there, what do we find?
The innovations are mainly the inclusion of a microphone to be able to answer with voice the messages that arrive (but does not include hands-free function), the color screen (up to 64 is able to display) and a renewed operating system that aspires to win More community of developers and integration with third parties.
Of all that the most interesting, in positive as in negative, is the choice of the screen.The panel is an LCD that does not require backlighting (although it includes when the light that hits the screen is not enough), capable of offering up to 64 colors.
Since Pebble have not revealed the manufacturer, but it is Japanese, it seems that small distributor, and possibly similar to what they propose from Japan Display,whose LCD Reflective-type ECB only consume 0.10% than a traditional LCD panel.With this choice we gain in an autonomy within reach of any other smartwatch(promise about 7 days), but it is also true that the resolution and quality of the screen Pebble has nothing to do with that of a smartwatch Motorola, Samsung , Sony or Apple. Light years.
The big unknown is in the operating system that premieres. It will be compatible with applications and “faces” of previous models, but the potential is infinitely greater… provided they have the support of the fearsome developers. For now they have announced some other agreement for example with Evernote, Jawbone, Yelp, Paypal or Runkeeper, but I do not think that the phenomenon Pebble has enough muscle or in a few months to attract third parties that make differences in their platform.
The good news is that there are people ex webOS, such as Migicovski, who are leading Pebble software with good ideas, such as the TimeLine that pose as the nerve center of the experience with Pebble and where anyone can enter content via a web API.
Precisely what has the future of its platform is the idea of a communication port with third-party hardware that could be included by accessories inside an interchangeable strap, but it is an investment that costs to assume that important brands adopt.
The more than 10 million dollars they are going to get for sure, are impressive, but making numbers, would be little more than 50,000 buyers. They will be many more when the year goes ahead and goes on sale, but I do not think that theymanage to stay with the crumbs of what the smartwatch market is going to move.Beautiful fish in the fish tank, but little to do against the sharks.