Crowdfunding darling Pebble, the company behind the first truly successful smartwatch, is back at it again. In refining its brand of practical design, the company recently debuted its next generation of devices. While the two smartwatches introduced, the Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2, were expected, a third device called the Pebble Core is the company’s attempt at an ultra-wearable that ends being surprisingly useful on a daily basis.
One of the biggest things about the Pebble Core is its tiny size, the result of it having been designed first and foremost as a workout companion. With it clipped to the collar of a shirt or at the end of a tank top, there’s no need for a bulky smartphone wrapped around the arm or waist. Without a smartphone, though, those who are active have to contend with being disconnected, a problem the Core solves with its built-in micro-SIM card reader. This allows it to connect via 3G in order to track pace and distance (in conjunction with its embedded GPS), stream music using Spotify, send emergency text messages, and interface with a wide array of fitness apps, from Google Fit to MapMyFitness.
The Pebble Core also supports a voice interface that can facilitate simple tasks like composing voice messages to serving as a conduit for Amazon’s Echo, allowing users to issue commands on-the-go. Despite its variety of useful features, Pebble Core gets nine hours of battery life per charge, so it doesn’t necessarily become another device that needs to be charged nightly. $79 gets interested backers a Pebble Core by January 2017. Pebble is well on its way to setting more records, having smashed its $1,000,000 goal and recently cracked the $10,000,000 mark as of the time of this post.
Pebble has a certain knack for implementing that Apple formula of not exactly creating innovative products, but rather products whose design and functionality is considered. Case in point: the Pebble Core. Its use of cellular connectivity to facilitate everything from Amazon Alexa support to Spotify streaming demonstrates an unmatched versatility and points towards that eventual convergence of all these disparate services into increasingly tiny, yet still useful, packages. Mighty Audio took the first steps with its Spotify-centric ultra-wearable, but the Core takes it to a completely different level. Expect to see many copycats.