Recherche du temps

April 17th, 2013

wpid-Photo-17-Apr-2013-0745.jpgAbout a year ago, like many thousands of others, I backed the Pebble Kickstarter project. Yesterday, after forking over another 25 quid to the Queen (a combination of the Royal Mail and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs), I received my new toy.

My first impression was that it looks and feels much nicer than I expected. It’s hard to convey this in pictures: I don’t think it looks as cheap in reality as the black shiny plasticness of many photos would suggest, and after years of a fine but heavy stainless–steel–and–titanium Citizen, this feels light and comfortable.

At present, there’s a limited amount you can do with it. Incoming texts and iMessages are forwarded to it, incoming calls can be accepted or rejected from your wrist, and you can stop or start music and skip backwards and forwards. But there’s a buzz of activity on the forums around the newly–released SDK. In just a couple of days, people have contributed range of new watch faces, and, of course, there’s already a Tetris and a Pong clone!

wpid-Photo-17-Apr-2013-0822.jpg The really interesting apps, though, will depend on the watch’s connectivity with your phone, and thence with the outside world. I must have a play with the SDK soon, but I suspect the facilities offered by the phone’s Bluetooth APIs will be the limiting factor there, especially on my iPhone.

In the meantime, the ability to stop and start playback of my audiobooks and podcasts is very handy. I tend to put my phone in my breast pocket while walking the dog, so I can listen to things without the need for headphones, but this can make me look a little eccentric to passers-by. Appearances can be deceptive. So being able to stop the audio as someone approaches, simply by pressing a watch button, helps preserve my dignity.

wpid-Photo-17-Apr-2013-0733.jpgAt present, I’m listening to a splendid version of Proust’s À la Recherche du Temps Perdus. It seems somehow appropriate.

But I think it’s time for a new translation. The title is typically rendered in English as ‘Remembrance of Things Past’, or — and this is perhaps poignant for those exploring their watch’s user interface — ‘In Search of Lost Time’.

But my upcoming version will be a whole new translation of À la Recherche du Temps Perdus for the modern age, entitled, “In Research, Much Time is Wasted”…

Posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 at 8:33 am and filed under Gadgets & Toys.

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