The Pebble smartwatch is a great gadget in many respects, but the one thing that has always struck me as less than convenient is the fact that it uses a proprietary magnetic cable to charge. I lose said cable with fair frequency, and in fact I have no idea where it is right at this very moment. New Kickstarter project Sidekick will at least make it harder to lose, with a Pebble dock that holds your charger cable and provides power to your Pebble.
The Sidekick is a small rounded triangle, hewn either from black or white plastic or from wood, with a special channel cut out to perfectly fit the cable. It also supports your Pebble in an upright position, providing a clear view of the screen if you’re sitting at your desk working on your computer for instance.
Sidekick creator and design company Documont founder Rodney Timbol says that he has become a devoted fan of the Pebble itself, but also found that it wasn’t quite as convenient as it could be for off-wrist use.
“My wife and I purchased the Pebble and both had the experience of the Pebble and charger dropping on the floor from our nightstand so needed a really simple way of avoiding damaging our newly purchased watches,” he explained. “I started thinking I needed a stand but I got so consumed by the functions of the Pebble and that began my quest to design a different docking experience.”
It’s definitely true that as a watch-wearer myself, I always take mine off while typing in order to allow for free and easy typing. Usually, I keep my iPhone in a dock below my monitor to also keep up with info coming in on that device, but the Sidekick might better serve that purpose for those looking to maintain the kind of information prioritization that smartwatch notifications can provide.
With no moving parts and an attractive design, the Sidekick is a deceptively simple Pebble accessory that actually seems like something you’d expect Pebble might eventually ship in the box itself. It’s extremely affordable, too: $15 gets you one in the natural maple finish, and currently you can get a black or white version for just a $19 pledge. It can dock a Pebble either with charging or without (which means you won’t unnecessarily be putting stress on your battery), and it supports after-market bands as well as those that ship on the Pebble.
Timbol says that he plans to build a Pebble Steel version as well once he receives his device in early February, so anyone who has pre-ordered this device can expect something similar to emerge to suit the new Pebble magnetic connector, which differs from the original design. The Sidekick has an anticipated ship date of April 2014.