One of the first projects I backed on Kickstarter was the Pebble Smartwatch. After many (expected on my end) delays in manufacturing, the vision finally became a reality that was strapped to my wrist. The Pebble is constantly a conversation topic with different people I encounter on a daily basis. My friends were the first ones to ask what was this strange watch on my wrist. When I explained its ability to alert me to texts and phonecalls, many of them insisted on texting or calling me to see if I was joking. Since the early days of having a Pebble, its ability to do more than just receive calls/texts has increased. The watch can now sync with many apps on my iPhone to push notifications directly to the watch. I have not activated any of these new capabilities, I simply use my Pebble to tell me the time, date, and alert me to incoming texts/calls. The Pebble allows me to check my phone less frequently, rather than show me a bunch of notifications that would likely compel me to pull out my phone more often.

In NYC I prefer to walk or Citibike everywhere I’m going if weather and time permit. I rarely take a cab unless I am with a group of friends at night. Before having a Pebble watch I would pull out my phone multiple times to see if I had a text or missed call (I rarely did!) while walking somewhere. Now that I receive alerts on my wrist for incoming messages, it has allowed me to detach a bit from my phone, pay more attention to everything going on around me, and even save a few incredibly involved texters from potentially being run over by cabs. With the arrival of Citibike, the Pebble has gained an unexpected level of importance in my commuting behavior. It is not advisable to distract yourself while riding a bike on the streets of NYC, so pulling out the phone is unimaginable to me, despite the fact that I see people do it often. There have been several times while I have been riding to meet a friend, that I will receive a text or phone call. I stop at a red light or pullover to answer, or read the message. This allows me to see if the plans have changed, or if someone is running late. I’m not sure what the future of the smartwatch space looks like, but I do know that it has allowed me to move away from my phone, and focus more on everything else surrounding me. The Pebble has a lot of new features, but it’s simplicity is the best feature for me.