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Smart Watch

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

When my birthday rolled around a few months ago, Rachelle asked me what I wanted. Usually I don't ask for much if anything, but one toy I thought was kind of cool was a smart watch. In case you're not familiar, a smart watch is a wrist watch that is connected to your cell phone via Bluetooth. Depending on the model of the watch it can do things like show you text messages, emails, use the phone and run custom apps.

pebble smart watch

My biggest criteria was that it had to be cheap. I ended up getting an original Pebble watch (model 301BL) which I love. Being the most inexpensive of them all, it lacks certain features, but that's fine with me. I really wanted something just for viewing updates (email/texts/calls) without having to pull my phone out of my pocket all the time. The Pebble uses the same e-ink technology as the Amazon Kindle so it has incredible battery life. I can charge this watch maybe once a week whereas its more colorful and feature-rich cousins have a hard time getting through a single day on a charge.

The one feature I wish it had is the ability to answer the phone. I can see who is calling and even send the call the voicemail from the watch, but I really wanted to be able to answer a call and talk on speaker-phone through the watch. I don't talk on the phone much anyway, so this isn't a dealbreaker, but I think it would've been awesome. Maybe in a few years when I wear this out I'll go for a slightly more expensive model with that feature.

I was a little nervous at first about asking for a smartwatch. I had given up on wearing a watch quite a few years ago and was not used to having one on my wrist anymore. And even though this was the most inexpensive model, it was still over $100, so I didn't want to waste this money by not using it. This was about 3 months ago and so far I've worn the watch every day with no problems. I've even found myself looking at my wrist for the time when I don't have it on (in the early morning or late at night), so clearly I'm used to wearing one again.

There are a bunch of apps you can get for it free and even an software development kit for writing your own. I haven't tried the SDK yet, but I have a few ideas for apps I would like (mostly nerd stuff). I was very surprised to find there is an app for viewing Foscam IP cameras, which is the brand of camera I have in each kid's bedroom. The image is awful on the e-ink display, but it does work!

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