The Fight Over My Watch

Pebble using words to tell the timeThe Pebble and I have become inseparable. Helaine has even caught me forgetfully wearing it to bed a few times.

The Pebble is a scratch for an itch I didn’t know I had.

I’m lucky to have it. Lots of people don’t have theirs.

Recently, a buzz has erupted from the Pebble have-nots. They’re worried about problems with production or software or firmware or the plastic injection molding process that’s keeping all the watches black so far. The company has turned less talkative.

The angst is understandable. The watch was supposed to have fully shipped in September.

Last night posted a teardown report saying the Pebble didn’t have low power Bluetooth capability as claimed. The buzz grew louder.

This morning Pebble released their unlikely, yet totally plausible, explanation. They’d used the right Bluetooth chips, which were marked incorrectly on purpose to get around some manufacturing paperwork snafu.

People are still pissed they don’t have their watches.

I hope Pebble survives. I really like mine.

Wearing My Pebble I Am Dick Tracy

The image is iconic. Dick Tracy, arm bent, wrist up, gazing at his “TWO-WAY WRIST TV.” Just in case you’re wondering what in that picture might be a “TWO-WAY WRIST TV,” cartoonist Chester Gould has added an arrow.

The wrist TV didn’t exist in the 50s and 60s when Detective Tracy wore his&#185. It was just beyond the reach of our technology. We knew stuff like that would be possible, one day.

I am currently wearing one of the first rudimentary, practical implementations Dick’s accessory. I am wearing the Pebble.

Maybe you’ve heard about this geeky toy I bought? It was a Kickstarter project looking to raise $100,000. If financed, they offered the watch for $115.

The $100,000 goal was quickly reached. In the end $10,000,000 was pledged and, of course, every one wanted a watch. Even me.

The watch was due in September. September came and went as did the rest of the fall and most of the winter. Pebble’s avalanche of cash and orders changed the logistics of the operation overnight. Mass production at this level was never anticipated.

The watch came last week and I’ve been wearing it a lot. It’s a very cool watch.

It’s probably a little thicker than it should be. It’s deeply black and stylishly smooth. That makes up for some of the girth.

It feels solid. It feels well put together.

It claims to be waterproof to “5 atmospheres.” That’s 165 feet, right? I’ll take their word for it.

The display is always on. Think electronic paper. If there’s light to read, there’s light to read this display. Bright sunlight is no problem.

In a dark room or outside at night just flick your wrist or press a button and a small backlight comes on. The light’s also on when the watch displays messages… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Because the watchface is just a bunch of pixels on a screen it’s easy to change the watch’s look. I choose to have the time displayed as words. Right now it’s:


The watch is Bluetooth equipped and tethers to a smartphone. That makes the watch smarter.

The cellphone keeps the watch absolutely on-time. It’s also used to download apps. Yeah, the watch runs apps. There are few so far. I have faith.

Any time a text or email message arrives the watch vibrates, the backlight comes on and the message (or a small snippet) appears on the screen.

The vibrating is why the watch can’t be left on a hard surface, like a nightstand or dresser, at night. That’s from personal experience. It woke me up! Putting it on the carpet seems to solve the problem.

There is no speaker or microphone. The battery lasts seven days and is recharged through a magnetically attached plug.

What do you think? Is it too dweeby?

&#185 – Dick Tracy was first drawn in 1931. The first public demonstration of TV wasn’t until 1939 at the New York World’s Fair.

The Pebble Watch And Chester Gould

Message from Farrell on my Pebble Watch

I’m wearing the Pebble. I just got this message from Farrell in Palm Springs.

If you don’t know who Chester Gould was, please ask your folks… or theirs.

Some Day My Watch Will Come

Pebble watch watchfaces

Back in April 2012 an interesting project was announced on It was the Pebble watch. I’ll let Pebble describe it.

Pebble is the first watch built for the 21st century. It’s infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps. Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, alerting you with a silent vibration to incoming calls, emails and messages. While designing Pebble, we strove to create a minimalist yet fashionable product that seamlessly blends into everyday life.

In other words, it’s geek-o-riffic.

If you’re not up on Kickstarter, it’s a website that allows projects to be funded through crowdsourcing. Sometimes there’s a little tschotske for the financial backers, sometimes not.

Pebble was different. For $115 you got a watch… when they were made…


Yeah — good one there.

Pebble’s logistics problem wasn’t producing the watch as much as it was producing the watch in quantity! The developers were looking to raise $100,000. Instead they collected $10,266,845 from nearly 69,000 backers.

Overfunded is just as big a problem as underfunded, or so I’m led to believe. Production turned into mass production.

Today at CES in Las Vegas Pebble announced they were ready to deliver! The first watches hit the mail within two weeks. Mine won’t be in the very first shipment, but it shouldn’t take long. I’m very excited.

Pebble is just one in a growing number of wrist worn computers on-the-way. The future just keeps on coming.