It may not be a Rolex or a Patek Philipe, but 2013 is going to be the year of the tech watch. Google, Apple and Samsung may all get their smartwatches out in 2013, but Pebble are promoting their ‘proof of concept’ watchface SDK which allows third party developers to create custom watch faces and basic applications.
The Pebble was launched via Kickstarter in April 2012 and the earliest units are now shipping to customers. 68,900 backers sent money to raise $10 million for the company. The watch is powered by an ARM Cortex M3 processor and features a 1.26 inch 144 x 168 pixel black and white ‘memory LCD’ screen. They call this ‘e-paper’ and it can communicate with Android and iOS devices using Bluetooth.
The battery can last around a week, and the latest SDK has fixed a bug which could cause battery life to be exhausted sooner than expected.
Out of the box, the Pebble ships with 12 applications and 11 watch faces. Snakes, the famous retro game is also bundled with the watch. Obviously the watch can play music and can alert you of incoming phone calls and messages, as well as emails (works connected via the iOS or Android smartphone).
Supported devices are iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S and 5, iPod Touch with iOS5 or iOS6. Android devices running OS2.3 and after are also supported.
The watch face SDK is described as a ‘proof of concept’ and the documentation lists the following “This is a Proof-of-Concept Release of the Pebble Smartwatch watchface Software Development Kit (SDK). Code written using this SDK can negatively impact stability of PebbleOS and in the worst case, brick a watch. As long as you steer clear of poking registers manually and generally setting out to mess too much with the firmware, you should be fine. But we can’t guarantee it at all. The goal with this SDK release is to gather feedback from the Pebble community and funnel that information towards a revised SDK (with memory protection) suitable for wider use. Keep in mind that any code written for this PoC will most likely be broken by API changes between these two releases.”
mypebblefaces.com already have a variety of watch faces available. You can store up to 8 custom faces at any time on the internal memory
Kitguru says: Who will win the battle of the smartwatch in 2013/2014? Me? ill stick with my Omega Seamaster.