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    Pebble announce the Steel

    Pebble have held a press conference at CES in Las Vegas where they announced a new model of their popular smart watch that might be just what we have been waiting for. The original Pebble is a great little device but never looked particularly nice. All that has changed with the release of the Pebble Steel. It comes in two different finishes, Brushed Stainless and Black Matte.


    Whilst Pebble have sensibly kept the same basic hardware inside both versions of their smart watch, the Steel does have some refinements beyond the material changes. For starters, despite the same battery and screen size, the Steel is smaller in both height and depth. There is a new charger socket which has magnetic contacts and there is Corning Gorilla Glass covering the screen. They also managed to fit an LED into the casing so you know when it is charging.

    The price for all this added luxury is $249 with availability starting on January 28th. Pre-orders can be made by logging on to http://www.getpebble.com right now although it seems that most early delivery slots have already been taken.


    In addition to the Steel, it was also announced that by the end of January there will be a brand new Pebble appstore which will act as a one stop shop for apps and watch faces. Apps will be categorised and curated by Pebble so developers are urged to submit their entries by January 9th to be in the store for the launch.

    Finally, Pebble announced the addition of some new partners including Pandora, ESPN and Marcedes-Benz who will all be bringing apps to the Pebble smart watch platform.

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    Am I the only one who thinks these are ugly?  Far too much like the Samsung Galaxy Gear.  These devices may appeal to a subset of techy consumers who want something that looks a bit like a Star Trek communicator on their arm, but for people whose worlds aren't full of futurist design (and certainly for anyone who like's Jonny Ive's stuff - not particularly me, but you have to admire the elegance of it) this lumpen stuff will not be very compelling.  

    All the tech companies getting so excited about wearable tech at the mo reminds me of how their TV divisions got so excited about 3D TVs as the next big thing only a little while back.

    Come back to me when someone's selling a smartwatch that doesn't look like you bought it for a fiver at the market, actually does something useful (other than being a neat gadget, which obviously has some value for us lot, though doesn't for most people), is the same size and weight as my current wristwatch, can go a week or more without charging (or better yet, charges itself as I move, wirelessly at night or through some other method that means minimal disruption to me) and actually meets a real need I have (I still can't see the problem these things solve that my Nexus and my Timex don't have sewn up between them).  Maybe one day The Internet of Things will be ready to come to my arm, but we're not there yet. 

    Until then, we'll be watching the tech industry go through another of its fad cycles, wasting time and money they could be spending on the teleporter and flying car I was promised decades back, god-damn!

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