Pebble, arguably the hottest smart watch on the market, is now accepting pre-orders for its high-end Pebble Steel smartwatch.
The Pebble Steel, which will retail for $US249, features the same e-paper display, a five-to-seven day battery life, and waterproof design. Pebble plans to start shipping the watch on Jan. 28.
The Pebble Steel is a bit smaller than the sport model, features Corning Gorilla glass (the same sturdy glass used in smartphones), anti-fingerprint coating, and an RGB (red, green, blue) LED to indicate the charging status.
One thing it’s lacking is the selection of colours. The original model comes in five colours, but the Steel only comes in brushed stainless and black matte. Each model will come with a matching metal band as well as a black leather strap.
But Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky sees that as more of a feature, he tells Business Insider.
To date, there are more than 300,000 Pebble watches on wrists all over the world. But that’s still a pretty small number, he says.
So he thought, “What’s holding us back from accessing everyone’s wrist? Well, it’s probably the aesthetics,” Migicovsky says. “[The original Pebble] just has a different vibe than a lot of other watches.”
Migicovsky’s dad loves wearing the orange Pebble because he wants people to know he’s wearing a smartwatch. But some people, Migicovsky says, want more of a subdued presence on their wrist.
At the end of this month, Pebble will also launch the very first appstore for apps optimised for wearable technology.
The way it works now is that Pebble wearers have to visit third-party sites like MyPebbleFaces.com to access and install apps. When Pebble launches its app store, customers will be able to download Pebble apps from within Pebble’s official iOS and Android apps.
Similar to that of the Apple App Store, the Pebble app store features categories like Daily Living, Remote Controls, Games, Notifications, Tools & Utilities, Sports & Fitness, and Watchfaces.
Pebble has also managed to lure Mercedes Benz, Pandora, and ESPN to build apps for the smart watch.
“They’re building apps that are not just useful, but more useful than the apps they have running on their smartphone in some specific way,” Migicovsky says. “And that’s what we’re going for. For us, it’s all about, how does the app provide value to the user. How does it change their life in some small or significant way?”
The Mercedes app, for example, provides you with a heads-up display so that you can see how much gas you have, tire pressure, where you parked your car, etc.
“Our mission,” Migicovsky says, “is to make something that meshes into your daily life.”
Check out the app store below.