Pebble Technology has done nothing but make splashes since they burst onto the scene at CES 2013, following their record setting Kickstarter campaign.
After almost single-handedly creating consumer demand for wearable technology last year, Pebble had another strong showing at CES this year—in an otherwise uneventful wearable’s category—with the announcement of the Pebble Steel.On the inside, the Pebble Steel is exactly identical to last year’s edition, with a 144 x 168 monochrome e-paper display and Bluetooth 4.0 both contributing to its several days of battery life. The steel also includes a vibrating motor for notifications, three-axis accelerometer for recording movement information (for functionality such as fitness tracking), a magnetic charger, and waterproofing good for 40m; however, I highly recommend avoiding wearing it in the shower, as your wrist does need to breathe now and then.
The exterior of the Pebble Steel really stands out from its plastic predecessor, with a much sleeker metal housing available in Brushed Stainless and Black Matte. These new models help Pebble cross the bridge from the wrist of the sportier Geek, to the professional Geek, or even technically inclined non-geeks.
Pebble will continue expanding shortly with the launch of their own app store, which will provide support beyond basic notifications and music control with app partners such as ESPN (to bring you live news and scores) and Foursquare (so you can check in to your favorite burrito place without your phone). Future applications were even teased at CES, such as car integration that allows you to monitor your car’s fuel, locks, and location while you are away from your vehicle as well as provide alerts for road conditions and traffic while you drive.
Some people may find issue with the $249 price tag, a $99 premium over last year’s model, but the functionality and new premium look and feel have already made a persuasive argument for many.
The Pebble Steel is shipping now with “limited supply” from Pebble at www.getpebble.com and will presumably be available from retailers that currently carry Pebble watches—such as Best Buy—in the near future.