Pebble smashed Kickstarter records by raising over $10 million to bring its smartwatch to market.By interfacing with a user’s iPhone or Android phone, the watch can carry out a number of functions, notifying you of new calls, texts, and emails, and even running apps such as RunKeeper.
It hasn’t been totally smooth sailing, however – Pebble came under fire for missing its shipping goals by a few months and its backers were less than pleased. Much to everyone’s relief, the company finally announced a shipping date of January 23, but there are still some potential flies in the ointment.
Developers might not be interested in creating watch apps. Much of the Pebble’s appeal is in its ability to run third-party apps. But without a well-populated app store to expand Pebble’s functionality, users will find themselves with little more than a watch that tells them who’s calling without looking at their phones.
Charging the battery is a new to-do. It’s old hat to charge your phone by now, but people will have to remember that their watches also need to be charged. Despite its impressive battery life of five to seven days, customers will still have to make a conscious effort to remember to not let the battery drop too low if they want uninterrupted use. It’s not hard to imagine they stop using them if they get tired of it having a new gadget-related chore.
Even a small hardware problem could turn people off. We doubt this will be an issue, but a too-easily-scratched watch face or easily breakable band will make the Pebble come off as cheap.
Any more shipping delays will only serve to further frustrate customers. This one’s obvious. People want what they want when they want it. Originally planned to ship in September 2012, we hope Pebble can deliver sooner than later.
Apple is rumoured to be working on its own smartwatch. Who would want to compete directly with Apple?
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