Geekery, Sports

Wearables, Early Adopter or Sit Out This Generation?

Since a while I have been thinking whether I want or don’t want a wearable already. At this point it seems like a lost quests and I am close to get a Cookoo watch, but there remain many questions. Many questions which are typical First World problems, but isn’t that always the case for early adopter problems?

Oh! do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.
Jane Austen

Ever since the Pebble watch was announced on Kickstarter, the item category caught my attention and in recent time I have also been toying with the idea of getting a Jawbone UP or Fitbit armband. But then I am not THAT sporty, and I know myself rather well thus it is safe to say that after some days I would forget to push the button before falling asleep. Lastly I am not a fan of how both devices need to be charged (or USB bracelets).

That is totally leaving aside the fact that I have become a fan of Moves app for iOS.

Pebble or Cookoo Watch?

The Pebble watch is probably one of the most desired gadgets among geeks and nerds alike. Pebble even more since it is easily expandable with watch faces and right now basic apps.

Amidst a quiet funding round, Pebble recently also announced an improved SDK, but right now not many iOS developers have made use of the SDK yet. Important because I turned iOS fan recently.

Pebble comes with an Android app, and there’s a whole plethora of Android apps available already. So far no iOS app is offered yet, but new features in iOS may see more integration.

But there’s a big problem with Pebble Watch. By that I don’t mean that I was never a fan of e-Paper screens.

Aside from the fact that the Pebble Watch seems to have it all, and be easily expandable also with possible integration of apps such as Runkeeper and Moves, Pebble has so far barely been able to ship to all Kickstarter batches.

While pre-orders are being taken, even with shipping to the Philippines, it seems impossible to know when the next batch of watches will be shipped and how long the waiting time is.

Almost completed pre-order. Seems I'm in for a treat!

Almost completed pre-order. Seems I’m in for a treat!

Going through the pre-order process to end up with a treat, $0 cost for a Pebble watch may be a bug but may also be a sign that Pebble is not confident they may be able to ever deliver, or deliver within a reasonable amount of time.
Note: Upon revisiting Pebble cart the order is registered and priced as well. With a promise to ship in Summer 2013 and charge the card when shipping.

First world problem #1. Bugger, but I will sit this one out until they are available to be ordered, without waiting time. Funding FTW.

The idiots impatient ones among you can get one at the totally ridiculous price of more than ₱23,000 from Galleon though.

The Cookoo watch is entirely different and the team behind the watch seem to have followed an approach to a more simplistic and less noisy design. Almost opposite to the dream of geeks, to the dream of expandability and features most even didn’t know what that they wanted them. No SMS to be read in their entirety on your watch, no Tweets to be read and no menus in the style of those found on the Pebble watch.

Simple, almost nihilistic. Just the features required to know when to grab your phone.

A SDK is promised, upcoming but requires developers to ask for approval. The SDK will in all likelihood provide access to manage and control mobile apps. Maybe even to replace the function of specific notification icons. But the Cookoo watch is mainly a reminder. Not a Knight Rider watch in disguise.

Cookoo watches with notification icons

Cookoo watches with notification icons

An iOS app for the Cookoo watch is available already, with an Android app promised but not released yet. Surprisingly in the commercial embedded above a Samsung phone sends an incoming call notification to the watch. Or was it the other way round?

Early Adopter Pains

While I haven’t gotten my Cookoo watch yet, already now it is clear that I will pay the compulsory early adopter toll, and probably dive to get another one when the next generation is released. A much smarter generation of watches.

With the leak of Techcrunch’s brilliant URL SEO strategy Google’s move to create smart watches, Sony’s fugly Smartwatch 2 with NFC and Samsung always more moving towards the internet of things, there is no doubt that soon we will see more smart watches on the market.

And of course there’s the since eons rumored iWatch from Apple.

Without a doubt these watches will be more advanced, have better(1) thought out features and work better with hardware ecosystems. iOS developers will drool about iBeam features as well.

Cookoo Watch It Is

For reasons I can not explain in a cognitive way, there is something about being an early adopter and paying a compulsory premium for a gadget I will in some months probably sell when the next generation hits. I can not explain why, I am not a gadget freak and have no pile of gadgets I constantly need to reduce in height via the second hand market, but the Cookoo watch caught my attention and will soon grace my arm as a replacement for my good trusty Fossil watch.

Cookoo watch

Cookoo watch

Just because I can and like to have First World Problems. Just because I find it a less dorky wearable than a Jawbone UP or Fitbit. Because it’s cooler than the Swatch watches I wore as a kid, but definitely not as cool as the Swatch The Beep pager watch I got in 1993.

Or maybe because there is value in somebody reviewing gadgets they actually purchased, and providing honest reviews, and I want to fill this site with more 0 and 1s. And with possible ratings below 5/10, without fear of not getting review units anymore. Honest reviews not paid by a marketing strategy.

If you’re in the market for a Cookoo watch, and don’t have a burning hole in your pocket but can wait for an honest local review, sit out the ride for the next 4-6 weeks and come back to this site.

  1. Or worse()