There’s a smartwatch-athon in the making.

Apple is working on one, according to rumors that seemed to gel earlier this year. Samsung has taken the lid off its plans, though no specifics have been announced, and LG is rumored to be building one too. Kickstarter phenom Pebble began shipping its smartwatch several weeks ago, and on Monday rumors began circulating that Microsoft was also looking to produce a wearable timepiece that could do much more than just tell time.

Besides all the watches, there’s a variety of headgear in the works — most notably, Google’s Glasses.

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The ingredient missing from this building frenzy is market demand. Will consumers actually get on board and embrace such devices? So far, apart from very specific uses — such as monitoring one’s heart rate or other fitness indicators — the general reaction to the smartwatch and other new personal gadgets has been “meh.” Yet they are coming, and from the looks of things, that trickle may soon become a flood.

“Wearable tech is slowing entering the marketplace,” said technology analyst Stephen A. Blum of Tellus Ventures Associates. “That’s one of the potential benefits of the flex screen Samsung demoed at CES — it can put a larger but less intrusive screen on your wrist. Google Glass and other head-mounted displays and cameras can do the same thing if it’s attractive enough to wear.”

However, many of these attempts appear just as uncool as those 1980s-era calculator watches.

“Smart watches are still a solution that is looking for a problem,” said Roger Entner, principal analyst for Recon Analytics. “The form factor does not easily lend itself to provide a user experience that delights.”

Issues such as small screen size, battery size and weight are much more pronounced in a watch-size form factor, said Entner.

“Right now this smart watch craze is just a reaction to Apple submitting a patent and everyone else running after Apple’s next great idea,”

Customize Your Perfect Watch. It’s as Easy as Downloading an App.

Pebble is the first watch built for the 21st century. It’s infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps. Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, alerting you with a silent vibration to incoming calls, emails and messages. While designing Pebble, we strove to create a minimalist yet fashionable product that seamlessly blends into everyday life.

CUSTOMIZE WITH APPS.

Apps bring Pebble to life. Pebble team building some amazing apps for Pebble. Cyclists can use Pebble as a bike computer, accessing the GPS on your smartphone to display speed, distance and pace data. Runners get a similar set of data displayed on their wrist. Use the music control app to play, pause or skip tracks on your phone with the touch of a button. If you’re a golfer, feel free to bring Pebble onto the course. Pebble team working with Freecaddie to create a great golf rangefinder app for Pebble that works on over 25,000 courses world-wide. Instead of using your phone, view your current distance to the green right on your wrist. These apps will be the first, with more in the works!

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CUSTOMIZE WITH WATCHFACES.

Pebble can change instantly, thanks to its brilliant, outdoor-readable electronic-paper (e-paper) display. They have designed tons of watchfaces already, with more coming every day. Choose your favourite watchfaces using Pebble’s iPhone or Android app. Then as the day progresses, effortlessly switch to the one that matches your mood, activity or outfit

CUSTOMIZE WITH NOTIFICATIONS.

If you need to stay on top of things, Pebble can help with vibrating notifications, messages and alerts. Dismiss a notification with a shake of your wrist. Don’t worry, it’s easy to disable all notifications.

  • Incoming Caller ID
  • Email (Gmail or any IMAP email account)
  • SMS on both Android and iPhones
  • iMessage (iOS only)
  • Calendar Alerts
  • Facebook Messages
  • Twitter
  • Weather Alerts
  • Silent vibrating alarm and timer

CUSTOMIZE WITH CODING.

Want your watch to tell you when your next bus is leaving? Maybe you’re jonesing to see your compile status or recent github commits.. Think push notifications, directly to your watch using the data connection on your phone. Want to check-in on your watch, or create an app that can monitor your sleep? Pebble can send data from the accelerometer and buttons back up to the internet.

Pebble can receive simple alerts and notifications from if this then that (ifttt.com) or our web-facing RESTful endpoint. More adventurous developers can use the Pebble SDK, with its Arduino-like abstractions and simple C structure, to gain full control of the watch. Multiple apps can run on Pebble, along side watchfaces and regular notifications.

  • Load apps using Bluetooth
  • 144 x 168 pixel display black and white e-paper
  • Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR and 4.0 (Low Energy)
  • 4 buttons
  • Vibrating motor
  • 3 axis accelerometer with gesture detection
  • Distribute apps via Pebble watchapp store

HOW IT WORKS.

Pebble connects by Bluetooth to your iPhone or Android device. Setting up Pebble is as easy as downloading the Pebble app onto your phone. All software updates are wirelessly transmitted to your Pebble.

Compatibility

iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, 5 or any iPod Touch with iOS 5 or iOS 6. Android devices running OS 2.3 and up. Works great with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)! Unfortunately Pebble does not work with Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, or Palm phones at this time.

FAQs

Q. How long does the battery last? 
A. The rechargeable battery keeps Pebble going for 7+ days.

Q. Does the watch display stay on all the time? 
A. Yes. The display shows a watchface at all times.

Q. Does it have a backlight? 
A. Yes, Pebble has a backlight to view the display at night.

Q. Is it waterproof?
A. Pebble is rated at 5 ATM, tested for both fresh and saltwater. You can swim, go for a run in the rain or wash dishes with your Pebble. It’s not recommended to dive with Pebble, or expose it to hot water.

Q. What about scratches? 
A. Pebble has a scratch and shatter resistant lens with an anti-glare optical coating.

Q. Does it use up my phones battery? 
A. Pebble is a Bluetooth device, similar to a Bluetooth headset. It does affect the battery life of your phone, usually using up an extra 5-10% per day.

Q. How does it charge? 
A. We include a special USB cable. You can charge Pebble using your computer or any wall USB charger.

Q. Can I replace the bands? 
A. Yes, Pebble is designed to fit most 22mm watch bands.