March 2013 Archives

Aaack - there's a Pebble on my wrist.

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After nearly a full year of waiting, I'm proud to be one of the first people in the world to be wearing a Pebble smartwatch.

What exactly is a Pebble smartwatch and how did I get one? Well, I'd be happy to tell you about it!

I learned about Pebble through a Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter is a company that connects "investors" with "innovators." Kickstarter has helped inventors, bands, schools - countless people and areas of interest. It's a pretty cool idea. In this particular example, Pebble was a small tech company that had an idea for a smartwatch, but they didn't have the funding to launch the company, develop the product, manufacture the product, market it, and ship it.

So, they turned to kickstarter and set a goal of raising $10-million to fund their company. Kickstarter then reached out to people around the world and solicited interest in Pebble. For a $100 donation to Pebble, you would receive a complimentary watch once they were produced. I signed-on, and so did a ton of other people. I believe Pebble ultimately raised more than $100-million for their company, and thus the Pebble smartwatch was born.

It took them longer than expected to build and ship the watches; I received mine a few days ago and just got it set-up today. It's neat; I don't think it's revolutionary (yet) - the real fun will come when people start developing applications specifically for the watch...

Here's the watch as I received it from Pebble:

w_box.jpg

The watch is "smart" because it pairs (connects) with your smart phone; in my situation, the watch is paired with my iPhone 5.

So, that means I can do fun stuff like control my music from the watch, and see who is playing on my phone without having to remove the phone from my pocket (or arm band or glove box or wherever):

w_music.jpg

How many times have you been doing something (working on the yard; cooking; hunched over in an odd spot; in a meeting) and felt or heard your phone alert you to a new message, but were unable to fish your phone from your pocket/purse?

Let's say you're in a tense meeting and you feel your phone buzz a few times, and you just can't reach down, pull out your phone, enter your pass code, launch your messaging application, scroll to the new message and read it without distracting everyone, but it might be an important message from a co-worker, your spouse, etc... what do you do?

Enter Pebble's message preview function. Whenever my phone receives a text message or an e-mail or a phone call, I see a preview of it on my watch. The watch also gives a short "buzz" to alert me to the incoming message(s):

w_text.jpg

The notification service will come in handy while I'm out on a run or a bike ride - I'll be able to see if someone is trying to reach me without having to rely on hearing the phone, which is nearly impossible to do when you're riding a bike at 25mph...

As applications get developed for the watch, I'll also be able to view/track exercise activity from the watch face, using the GPS function that exists in my phone. So, for example, I can fire-up the Garmin triathlete application on my phone and head out on a ride/run. The phone will then transmit data to the Pebble watch, so that I can see things like: my heart rate, distance traveled, speed, pedal cadence, power, and so on.

Pretty neat, eh? It should be fun. I'll definitely spend time getting to know the interface and functionality; at this point it's still relatively new and unfamiliar, but that'll change fairly quick.

So that's about it - Pebble in a nutshell, if you will. Oh, it's also a watch; you can customize the watch face as you see fit. I liked this simple face best:

w_time.jpg

Where did January (and February) go?

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Hey folks - sorry for being absent for like the past 7-8 weeks... Things have been incredibly busy and I've just not had much time to update the 'ole blog. Couple of quick updates:

Incredibly crazy busy with work. Between the promotion and this monster project, I've been putting in longer hours than usual. Lots of new experiences, as I'm serving dual roles on a multi-multi-million dollar project (it's about $40m) - primary role is as the program manager (overseeing/directing the entire effort) and as a project manager for the primary track within the program.

We were asked to step in and drive the project after it had been suffering from poor progress; it's been a whirlwind... I've been working 100% on it since May of 2012, and I'm just now starting to fully understand all of the complexities and technical intricacies. Looks like I'll be involved with the project for at least another year...


Musically - I've been playing the guitar when I have time, albeit it hasn't been as much as it was prior to January, so I still stink at it. I'm still loving that Orange Dark Terror head and Mesa Rectifier cabinet - love how dark and crunchy they sound together. Now if I could only get my fingers to do what my mind wants them to do...

guitar.jpg


Diet/Exercise - back on the wagon! I have been eating cleanly and exercising with regularity (riding every day, running 4-5 times per week). I've been looking forward to both; apparently my binary switch has flipped from "0" to "1" in terms of taking care of myself.


House - looks like I'll be moving again in a few months. The homeowner from whom I rent has decided to retire from her job in Spain and is moving back to her home. It's sounding like I'll be moving in with a friend/co-worker of mine who lives fairly close to where I'm currently living. Oh, the joys of packing everything up and moving yet again... I need to find a house here, and have started peeking around at some potential places. I'll probably buy something in Madison, I'm just not sure when it'll be.


Flea - she's doing well. Still scared of nearly everything and still loves to curl up and spend all day nestled in her Packers blanket. She is absolutely hating this year's snow; we got clobbered with about 9" of snow yesterday and she is not a fan of the stuff (nor am I, especially after having to shovel so much of it).

flea.jpg


Well, that's about it for now. I apologize for not updating the blog for so long, but I really have been busier than I ever could've imagined. I also had a blog issue that caused me to have to rework my index pages and some behind-the-scenes stuff... I hope it's all working properly - drop me a line if anything seems out-of-whack?

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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