As the wearable computing
market continues to heat up, Pebble
is looking to distinguish itself a bit with a premium edition of its smartwatch
. While the original Pebble was somewhat sporty, bordering on cute, the Steel is designed to be a more fashionable accessory--less tech chic and more traditionally classy.
The Steel is actually smaller and thinner than the original Pebble and has a Corning Gorilla Glass face with an anti-fingerprint coating. It’s waterproof up to 5 ATM and comes in a brushed stainless steel finish and a black matte finish with a matching metal and black leather wristband (your choice--both come with either version of the watch).
The Pebble Steel will begin shipping by January 28th; you can order yours for $249 at Pebble’s website.
In addition to a hot new smartwatch, Pebble also announced the dedicated Pebble appstore. The company says that the appstore will exist within your Pebble iOS
app, so you’ll be able to browse for and download apps with your smartphone. Categories include Daily, Remotes, Games, Notifications, Tools & Utilities, and Fitness; the appstore will also include all those myriad watch faces that people have been creating for the smartwatch for some time.
Pebble further touted new apps from its partners including Pandora, ESPN, Mercedes-Benz, and more.
It seems that feedback is mixed on smartwatches in general, with some people viewing them as the next great wave in mobile computing and others scoffing at the entire concept as uninteresting, but Pebble is making as strong a case as any company with these announcements.
Original Pebble (L) and Pebble Steel (R)
For one thing, having products aimed at different subsets of users is a boon, and at the same time, the psychological win provided by Pebble’s appstore can’t be denied. People are used to having a mobile device with an appstore attached, and this simply makes the smartwatch as easier, more compelling sell.