The Pebble e-paper watch is a smart wristwatch which acts as a display for connected iPhone and Android devices. Like other smart watches, Pebble can control your music, display email alerts, and even be used to tell the time. Unlike other smart watches, Pebble was designed from the ground up to be user-customizable, and can last a week on a single charge thanks to its e-paper display.
Martijn Thé, interface designer at Pebble, explains in a video to Pebble’s Kickstarter backers that he wanted a device so easy to use that his grandmother should be able to understand it right away, but should have also offer enhanced functionality for power users. Thé says that he’s included hidden shortcuts and “other smart ways to get things done.” It will be interesting to see how this balance between intuitive controls and power-user shortcuts plays out, especially on a device with so few buttons.
Also included in the video is a short demonstration of Pebble’s software development kit. Thé demonstrates a Pebble simulator within the iPhone, which would allow developers who do not own the watch to test their app’s compatibility with the device. It would be brilliant if Pebble included this functionality in a free app, so potential customers could ‘try
Thé also shows that the SDK can stream images from his graphics editor to the watch’s e-paper display. This should be useful for the graphic designers who will be working on Pebble apps, as images that work on a screen do not always translate well to a portable device.
At the very end, Thé demonstrates the watch’s UI by navigating between emails, calls, notifications and Pebble’s music remote. The basic interface navigation seems straightforward; there’s a lock screen clock, a scrolling menu and apps. I’m very interested to see the advanced shortcuts Thé was hinting at.
Would you be interested in using a watch to see your notifications, or would you rather look at your phone? Share your thoughts in the comments section.