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TV-Programm am Handgelenk: Bartosz Hernas über Smart Watches und Wearable EPGs

10.06.2014 Redaktion Tags: Hack, Hackathon, Media Hack Day, pebble, smart watch, watchmi
Bartosz Hernas Pebble watchmi Hack

Beim letzten Media Hack Day in Berlin gab es einen ziemlich coolen Hack unserer watchmi API für die Pebble SmartWatch.  Nun sind Smart Watches seit den Gerüchten um ein entsprechendes Exemplar der Apfelfirma recht populär geworden, doch es handelt sich immer noch um ein ziemlich nischiges Produkt, so dass wir bei Bartosz Hernas vom Pebble Hack Team mal genauer nachgefragt haben, was es mit diesem neuen Wearable so auf sich hat. Das Interview fand auf Englisch statt.


Congratulations Bartosz! We really liked your hack as it brings watchmi to a completely new, buzz-trending device, very cool! Tell us a little bit: How did your passion with Pebble start?


I remember when Pebble hit Kickstarter, where it was founded. The idea behind this wristwatch got me with one point: first of all, it is a watch and it needs to display time and do this better than a standard watch. Pebble fulfilled that promise and was able to do much more. I bought it as soon as it was available as a preorder and I have waited for it for over a year. A watch is too small to be separate device, but Pebble is an addition to a smartphone. It is making smartphones better to use and does not try to replace them.


Do you still use your smartphone and/or computer? How much did your time spent on these devices decrease?


Pebble definitely reduced time I spend looking at the phone. Earlier I was taking my phone out of a pocket to check what kind of message I got, or whatever else happened. Now I read my messages and change music directly from my wrist. It works as a nice silent alarm as well.


A lot of people dropped wristwatches as soon as they got their cellphones, did you ever stop wearing watches and started anew with Pebble?


I treat wristwatches as part of men jewelry. Before Pebble I had a nice mechanical watch. It was pretty but not so functional, I was rarely using it as a watch, since I could read time from my phone. It was only a shiny thing that looked nice on my wrist. Pebble on the other hand is much more functional but the first generation was not looking so good. Still, I was very curious  how it is to have a smart watch and I was not disappointed. I immediately bought the second generation, Pebble Steel, which is the same as the first generation, but more elegant. Now I have both, a functional and a good looking wristwatch.


It’s quite a new thing, do people look odd at you when you use Pebble?


It blends pretty good if I am checking time but it probably looks funny for people when I start pushing buttons on my watch. Most time you are only looking at it: who is calling, what message did you get, what is the weather etc. So if someone does not know Pebble he probably wouldn’t notice.


Do you think Smartwatches will become a general trend?


Yes, I do. I think that in general “wearables”, gadgets you could wear, will became more and more popular. Recently Google Glasses gained a lot of attention, Samsung and Sony developed their own smart watches and there are rumors that Apple is working on something similar. I am looking forward to what the future brings, but I bet there will be a lot of really interesting stuff. Just imagine that your phone would be only some central connection device. Your screen would be directly in front of your eyes. Your keyboard would be just you: your voice or maybe even your thoughts? Your watch would check pulse and if something would be bad, a doctor could be informed immediately with the history of your blood pressure.


watchmi Pebble hack


It must be exciting to develop apps for such a new product. You created this fabulous EPG App for Pebble, how did you come up with that idea? Does something similar exist already?


I saw that watchmi sponsored Pebble as their own prize at Mediahackday so I immediately thought that I should develop an app for Pebble that would somehow use watchmi data. The EPG was a good idea, because it doesn’t require too much input. We can just display what is currently on TV and let user only choose channels.


Can you imagine to develop a more complex EPG for Pebble? Could the software and hardware handle that?


During the hackaton I met Cosmo, who earlier developed TV Remote for Samsung TVs for Pebble. It would be ideal to connect the EPG with TV Remote, so a channel would be automatically selected. I also had an idea to have Pebble think for you, so instead of checking what is on TV we should get immediate information that our favorite TV show started or that something interesting is currently on TV. Pebble is much faster (speaking of computer power) than rockets from Apollo program and they were able to get us on the moon. I think a lot more interesting stuff will be created for Pebble and other wristwatches.

Bartosz, thank you very much.