Pebble in my shoe

You’ve no doubt seen the Pebble watch that has, as of today, received $8,996,860 on Kickstarter. It’s nicely designed and the tech seems lovely. I’m a fan of e-paper.

But I’m also a curmudgeon and I don’t get it.

The premise of the Pebble seems to be that smartphones are great but you need a way to control your smartphone when your hands are otherwise occupied or when interacting with your smartphone would be too involved. That is, it’s an external display and controller for your pocket-sized computer. That’s extraordinarily clever. It’s just about the smallest form-factor that a computer with a screen could be.

And, at the same time, Pebble seems to be… wasteful. No-one needs a wrist-sized computer. All of the scenarios in the Pebble pitch video already have solutions.

To steal a point from Cameron Tonkinwise, the Pebble seems too empathetic with the minor difficulties that people have with their already comfortable existence. In many cases it’s a technological solution to a set of very minor problems of everyday practice.

I don’t know how to end this post. I’m still trying to think more about why I dislike the idea of the Pebble far more than I dislike the actual artefact.


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