Pebble – How to Not Over-Architect a Smartwatch

Social Share Counters

I bought my Pebble in retail a few months ago and have since fallen in love with it. It doesn’t try to replace a smartphone, which is a stupid idea to begin with. The screen of any smartwatch is tiny by definition, and I don’t want to update Facebook, play games or write blog posts on my wrist. I can easily pull out my smartphone for those more complex tasks.

The Pebble does what it advertises it does:

  • Send all notifications from my iPhone’s lock screen to my wrist (the latest release does it with a delay of only 2 seconds)
  • Show CallerID of an incoming call and allow the rejection thereof
  • Show CallerID and content of incoming SMS
  • Show content of Twitter mentions and DMs
  • Show content of other apps like Lync, Facebook, Reminders, etc.

The battery lasts for days, and the accelerometer built into the device turns on backlight with a flick of the wrist. (Though for 2 seconds only, which isn’t enough and unfortunately not configurable.)

With the help of I can create my own watchfaces (ie. customized screens) within a minute, incl. date and time information and a custom image – I prefer one of my girlfriend. :-)

The most useful feature of my Pebble when wearing it during a workday is the display of my current and next calendar appointments. I achieve that through the use of 2 apps. On my iPhone, I first download Smartwatch+ from the App Store. Within that app, I can then install 2 Pebble watchapps:

  1. SmartStatus, which displays date, time, current temperature, phone battery percentage, next calendar appointment (or current one if I’m currently in one – which I don’t like, as I prefer to see the next one on my calendar)
  2. Smartwatch+ (same name as the iOS app, which is confusing at first), which gives me comprehensive weather info, a full browsable list of my appointments, and my reminders. Furthermore it does stocks, music, camera (huh?), GPS, and custom HTTP requests to control things like your smart home… Nice, and all I’d really ever need (I think… I’ll let Apple convince me otherwise)

I find myself typically using Smartwatch’s calendar view on my wrist during a workday, as I can see all following appointments at a glance, plus the time. After work, I switch over to seeing my girlfriend smile at me and tell me time & date. :-)

The Bluetooth connection is still slightly buggy, which can be annoying. To get an update of weather or calendar data I occasionally have to do the following in the Smartwatch+ iOS app, in order to re-establish the connection:

  • Open Smartwatch+ and hit Disconnect
  • Wait 10 seconds
  • Connect again
  • Wait a few seconds
  • Press the right top button on the pebble to re-sync

I can live with that, however, hope that they’ll fix it eventually.

I am happy with the purchase and don’t think I’ll ever need more from a smart watch. But as I said, once Apple releases their iWatch, I’ll be happily corrected.

How New Technologies Necessitate Customer Care Collaboration

Social Share Counters

Back in September, I wrote about the need to break up organizational silos in order to improve overall customer service. The rise of the smartphone and the advent of social networks simply necessitate collaboration among different teams and departments to jointly work towards the goal of a consistent customer experience.
 Read more here: