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The 404 at CES 2014: Where we don't give a snitchWe're kicking off CES with our first episode from the CNET Stage in Las Vegas, and Eric Migicovsky from Pebble joins us to show off the new Pebble Steel, the second version of the popular smartwatch.
-Hey, everyone. Welcome to The 404 Show live from CES 2014. My name is Jeff Bakalar. -And I'm Justin Yu. -Welcome to the program everyone. For you guys who don't know what The 404 Show is. It's a daily podcast and video show on CNET TV Monday through Friday every single day. -Yeah. -We have a couple of stories we're gonna talk about today. -Yeah. -Very happy to be in dry Las Vegas. -Yeah. Always forget that we're in the middle of the desert and never enough humidifiers in the hotel room. -Yeah. Never. -Let's just jump right into the stories of the day. We got two stories talking about when keeping it real goes wrong, CEO Edition. Two kind of gossipy things have happened at CES this year, and we'll be talking about gadgets for the next two days. We got shows on Wednesday and Thursday. But today, let's stick to the gossip. -Okay. -It's like TMZ on the CNET. -It's a little bit. It's fine. -On CNET today. So, did you guys check out the Michael Bay meltdown at the Samsung conference yesterday? -It's pretty epic. -It's pretty epic. For anyone who didn't watch that, we have a clip of it but first I'll introduce it a little bit. So yesterday Michael Bay was supposed to present a little speech at the Samsung's Press Conference. -That's right. -They were introducing a 105-inch curve TV. -Yup. -And he was just supposed to come up and talk about a few words about, you know, how his creative process is and how the TV is, well, basically make his movies look great. -Sure. -He got up there and right when he is about to start talking, there were technical difficulties-- -Sure. -at a Samsung TV Conference, maybe the most ironic thing ever. -But he's a professional. He's like behind the camera. You should know what to do during that, right? -Let's just watch this play. -Okay, let's watch this. -Ladies and gentlemen, director and producer Michael Bay. -Thanks Joe. -Good afternoon to you Michael. -How was everyone today? My job as a director is I get to dream for a living. -Michael, you know, you're known for us unbelievable action. What inspires you? How do you come up with these unbelievable ideas? -I create visual worlds that are so beyond everyone's normal life experiences and Hollywood is a place that creates a viewer escape. And what I try to do as a director I tried to-- the type is all off, sorry. But I'm just gonna wing this. -Tell us what you think. -Yeah. We'll just-- we'll wing it right now. I tried to take people on an emotional ride and-- -The curve, how does it-- how do you think it's gonna impact our viewers experience your movies? -Excuse me, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. -Okay. Ladies and gentlemen, let's thank Michael Bay for joining us. -Why was his decision to just be like, "Oh, I gotta get out of here." -No. The best part was that, you could tell he was like, "Well, I'm gonna wing it." Then he just gave no-- he didn't give himself a chance. -Right. -He was like, "I'm gonna wing it. No, I'm not. Bye." -And I'm sure during his lifetime being a director, he's probably said like, "You know, we'll just wing this scene." -Yeah, yeah. -And his actor's been like, "Okay." And they wing it. -Right. -So he's seeing people wing it before. -How hard could it be? -It's crazy. -Really hard. -It's actually crazy. Not so funny when real things blow off in life. -Yeah. -Is it, is it? -I was expecting his head just blow up exactly like in Transformers. -It was like that scene in scanners, right? For sure. -Yeah, exactly. -So that was terrifying. -The best part is right when they cut to the host space right after. He was just like, "All right, Michael Bay." -The best part was like, "Is it the curve Michael? You're here for one reason, the TV." -Yeah. -Couldn't do it. -I don't wanna make fun of Michael too much. -No. -'Cause we know what it's like to be in a public-speaking position. -Sure. -It's tough. You know, you can't always adlib it. -But we're not gonna get up and leave. -No, no. We're not. Well, it's just-- -We have an amazing story to talk about before we get to the break. And after the break we're gonna have the Pebble founder here-- -Yeah. -which we didn't mention earlier, Eric Migicovsky here, our old buddy is gonna come on and talk all that Pebble Steel, which I'm sure you guys have questions about. So, what I wanna talk about real quick though before we hit the break is our buddy Roger Cheng, writer at New York in our office. -Yeah. -He's a good friend of ours. He always finds himself in these very precarious and unbelievable situations. -He's like the Larry David of CNET. -He is. Wherever he goes, it's that curvier enthusiasm music playing in the background. But he managed to get involved with this huge controversy between AT&T and T Mobile. -Yeah. -And the T Mobile CEO John Legere. -Right. -And basically he had gone to the AT&T party last night which Macklemore, the ceiling guy-- -Right. -who's there. -Yeah. -And he performed-- -Ceiling guy. -Just the ceiling guy. I call him the ceiling guy. And Roger Cheng met up with John Legere said I'm crashing the party but they got in through, you know. -Wait, wait, wait. He was trying to crash the Macklemore party that's like breaking into jail isn't it? Why would you wanna go and see that guy? -I mean from, you know, he just wants to see like what the fuzz is all about. He got in through legitimate, you know-- -Oh, yeah the ticket. -Whatever it is, he got it. However he got it, it wasn't, you know, right. It was legit. So he gets in and Roger sees him, takes a photo with him as you can see on the screens behind us tweets it up 15 minutes later, "scary men went and escorted Mr. Legere out of the party." -That was the last time we saw John Legere. -And Roger Cheng. -Yeah. -They got black bagged and that was it. So, amazing, you know, Roger is the man, I'm so-- but like, do you think this might have burn a few bridges? Do you think like-- -What are you calling Roger a nark? -I'm just saying like he kinda came off as a nark. -Oh, he's not a nark. I don't think he took this photo intending for John to get kicked out. He just thought it was kinda funny. -What did he expect was gonna happen? -Well, first of all, you can't see in this photo. But John was wearing a pink T Mobile shirt. -Under his leather jacket. -Yeah, you don't do that. You can kinda sneak in somewhere. -Do you think he was gonna do like a Superman thing during the party at one point? That's right as Macklemore comes on, he runs on stage and like rips off his teeth. -Macklemore's thunder. -Right, right. But yeah, this actually happened and, you know, apparently about 200 people retweeted the photo. -Yeah. -And that alerted the AT&T, you know, people. -Right. -Next thing you knew, Mr. Lagere was kicked out. Now, do you think Roger now has like bad blood with both sides? But we just lost it, one of our greatest journalists? -I don't know. I'm starting to think that John kind of concocted this whole thing as a PR stunt to get attentions that-- -It's all part of the plan. He's like the joker. -the T Mobile. Yeah, sort of genius. -Right, absolutely. -I wanted to see him get kicked out like Jazz, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. -Right. Thrown up the-- -All right, P. James Avery. -Right, right. All right, we have one more story before we hit our break. -Sure, yeah. You wanna talk about this PlayStation news that just broke right before this-- -Yes, so do we have any gamers? Are you guys a big gamers at all? Yeah. Don't all jump at once. Yeah, PlayStation made some interesting announcements. I'm actually gonna go and check out some hands-on with PlayStation Now-- -Uh-huh. -which is gonna be the streaming service that they're gonna introduce in the summer. A lot of people thought it was just gonna be like a backwards compatibility sort of solution for PS3 and legacy games on PS4. -Right. -But it turns out it's not just that platform. It's gonna be for a lot of different platforms. -But they still are letting you play PS3 games on the PS4 through this streaming service? -Correct. -Good, 'cause that was a huge upset for PS4 buyer. -It was like-- it's an omission for sure. -Yeah. -Like I don't think anyone would wanna do that. Well now it'll be solved in some capacity, which is definitely really cool. -Good. -And I'm excited about it. I'm gonna go and check that out and hopefully we'll have some more stuffs to talk about when I get back from there. -Okay. -All right. I think it's time for a break. We'll take a break. When we come back, Mr. Eric Migicovsky, the founder of Pebble will be here. Stay tuned, more 404 right after this live from CES 2014. -Are you saying I could get AT&T's network with the data plan and unlimited talk and text for as low as $45 a month? -$45 a month. -Wow. No annual contract? -No annual contract. -No long-term agreement? -No long-term agreement. -Really? -Really. -Okay, so what's the catch? -There is no catch. -Okay. I'm obviously getting over with you. I'm gonna need to speak with a supervisor. -I am the supervisor. -Oh, finally. Someone I can talk to. -It's not complicated. New smartphone plan starting at $45 a month with no annual contract only from AT&T. -The fastest, the biggest and the brightest gadget in town-- -Barbie has quite the high-tech dress on. -They're big. They're foxy. It's [unk]. Nobody outside Google really knows what it is. -So how do you smart about Black Friday? -You plan ahead. Go as soon at what you see in the circular is a good deal. -Welcome to CNET's The Fix. -The show about DIY Tech and How To. -My absolutely favorite bit of this car that would be the noise. -This is going to change your life. That's right. Talk to me. -Hey, everyone. Welcome back to The 404 Show live from CES 2014. We're very excited to introduce our guest today, our old friend Eric Migicovsky, the founder of Pebble ladies and gentlemen. -Yes. -A round of applause for Eric. Eric, you had a fantastic announcement yesterday. Things are going well. Tell us all about Pebble Steel. -So Pebble Steel is the latest upgrade to Pebble. As you guys know, we launched the first watch on Kickstarter back in April 2012 and started shipping at the beginning of or at the end of January 2013. So it's been about 11 months in the market. We got over 300,000 Pebbles on people's wrists. But right from the Get Go, you know, we had a lot of questions, which is-- you know, I love that people were saying that I love Pebble. It's great. I use it for swimming, biking but it's just-- it's not the watch that I choose to put on in the evening or when I'm, you know, wearing a suit or something like that. So we designed Pebble Steel to be that aesthetic, to be the kind of the watch that spreads smartwatches on to more and more wrists around the world. So it's made of stainless steel. It comes in 2 flavors, a brush stainless and a black matte. It has a gorilla glass lens so it's a little bit stronger and yeah, it's just-- I'd say it's smaller, tighter, more polished watch. -The first thing, you know, when you showed us backstage, the first thing that I know right away that it is definitely noticeably smaller. You maybe not be able to tell from the, you know, the videos that came out yesterday. But that I think is the first thing you notice right away. -Right. -This is a massive sort of shrinking that's happening there. Yeah. -Yeah. It's-- and it maintains the exact same software compatibility and app compatibility. So when we launched the Pebble App Store at the end of the month, all the apps that are coming out for Pebble are also compatible with Pebble Steel. -Cool. -Yeah, one thing that Pebble is famous for is their customizability as well. I remember the first version you could change out the watch bands and the watch faces. I'm assuming this one is the same. -We actually are gonna be publishing the entire 3D spec on our Get Hub page so anyone can just grab the entire spec and build their own case or strap or even bike mounts are coming out for Pebble now. -Very cool. -So it sort of like a watch James Bond could wear, right? Let's be honest because-- -It doesn't have lasers on this one. -It doesn't have lasers but it's a little more subtle than the first edition-- -Yeah, that was very cool. -which is sort of-- yeah. -And we kind of win that it like our typical design approach which was, how can we make the watch useful on an everyday basis to more and more people? Part of our design philosophy is "Build a product that matches in to your everyday life." It has five to seven-day long battery life. It works with both iOS and Android. It works with the phone that you have and it's waterproof. You know, we maintain the same five atmospheres rating that the original Pebble has with Pebble Steel. So you just don't have to worry about it. We want people to treat it as a watch not as a piece of electronic that you constantly have to charge and think about. -Right. I heard something really interesting about the face and how it sort of doubled as antenna. Can you go over that 'cause to me that's like the space age thing? -We actually work really hard on this. So from a design perspective, we wanted to use stainless steel. It's a pretty common watch-making. -Sure. -It's a pretty common watch material and it has that feel, that quality feel to it. -Right. -But to the physics, when you just wrap stainless steel around electronics, it becomes a fair decay. -Right. -So you're pretty much are blocking the signal. -Yeah, that thing physic is always getting-- -I know. -Yeah. -So our engineers worked on building basically an antenna that lives on top of the case. You see there's a bit of plastic on the side, that's actually a barrier between the case and the antenna. So the antenna is right on the top of the product. We've been able to squeak out the same, if not, better range with Pebble Steel as Pebble. -Right. Excellent. -Eric, you mentioned the SDK before-- so much of what Pebble is about is developers. And this time around I read something really cool, Tim Stevens from CNET actually interviewed you and he was talking about the App Store which was added this time around, and that's such a big thing where people can just go online, one big hub. They can just download apps that are compatible with it? -Up until-- yeah, up until this point, it's been kind of like the Wild West. I don't know if you guys have the iPhone 2G like the original iPhone. I jailbroke mine and I was able to like install apps, you know, for the year before Apple launched the app store. For us, it's kind of the same. There's no jailbreaking or anything like that. But the first six months of the SDK is kinda produce a lot of apps, but there's never been like a central place for people to find them or developers to share them. And now that there's over 300,000 Pebbles on people's wrists around the world, we wanted to make sure that there is a consolidated spot that developers could share their apps and users could find the most awesome Pebble stuff around the web. -Uh-hmm. Very cool. -So that's gonna be coming out for all Pebbles at the end of January. -Which one is your favorite app? I've read one about whereas it'll pair with your Mercedes Benz, this sort of-- tell you vehicle diagnostics. That sounds really cool. -And so we get a Mercedes Benz with the Pebble. -Basically with every Pebble. -Okay. Well, I'm actually-- sure. -I'd be first in line for-- -That's a fair deal. -My favorite apps? I'm a big fan of analog watch faces on Pebble Steel. -Yeah. It looks really sharp. -They look great on the original Pebble. But for some reason, they will keep in more awesome. I think it's because we reduce the border area around the display. It's the same display. It's a E-Paper display. -Right. -But it's just tighter. Let see here, I've got a couple of different apps installed here. Oh, a new feature with the new firmware that we're coming out with it at the end of the month is a list of all recently received notifications so you can finally [unk] see new messages right on your wrist but after dismissing them. -Right. Was that a big sort of request-- -That was one of the biggest feature request that we-- -that filled up the suggestion box real quick. -Yes, yes. -I'm curious, you know, and if anyone has a question for Eric, feel free. In a few minutes we'll start taking questions if you have them. -But let me show everyone, so I've got the ESPN app here -Okay. -It's gonna be tough to see unless I could-- the monitor up. -Yeah. -There we go. So this is a new app that we worked on with ESPN. It actually accesses the ESPN API and you can get instant access to all sports feeds right on your wrist. -It's pretty awesome. -The angle that we've been going with here is how do we make an app that the user probably has on their smartphone already? So you wanna compliment it on your watch. You don't want to replace the actual app so we brought just sports scores, we also brought updates during the game so you get a vibration if someone gets injured or something happens. -Sure. -But it doesn't replace the ESPN app. You're still going to the app on your phone for setting up which teams you like. -It's a companion sort of-- -Exactly. And so that kind of thing we've played out with all the partner apps that we've worked on with Yelp, Foursquare, Go Pro even is launching an app on Pebble. -Very cool, yeah. -You know, last time we had you on our show, we talked a little bit about what the community's response was like you said in the beginning it was a little dicey in the beginning like just the Wild West if you will. What was the biggest surprise for you in terms of how people were using Pebble watches? -We've heard a variety of crazy stories from people especially after we increased the number of notifications that iOS users can get on to their Pebble. We've started hearing about just crazy setups where they've got their Dropcams in front of the house and they get a text on to their Pebble every time someone watched by in front of their Dropcams. -Oh, nice. -There's a lot of like crazy sort of things that we haven't expected when we first launched on Kickstarter a year and a half ago. -I have a random question for you. But just through reading that interview with Tim, the codename for the original Pebble was Tin-Tin. -Yeah. -The codename for the Pebble Steel is Bianca. Who's the big Tin-Tin fan in the company? -I think I grew up reading Tin-Tin. -Yeah. -And we have a really international team. We got people from France, from Holland, from Russia, all over the world on the Pebble team and everyone kind of comes from it like read Tin-Tin as a kid in different languages. We actually have one of the rooms at the headquarters just full of Tin-Tin's stuff like all the books in all kinds of different languages. -Nice. -It's like a very specific Belgian cartoon obsession. -All right, I'm into it. If anyone has a question in the audience for Eric, raise your hand if you have one. We're gonna go to a question we had on Twitter from our buddy Jay Bandoight. Now you just talked about the naming behind the codenames. What actually got you to settle on the Pebble name? How did that work out? -It's a good question. Naming in itself is ridiculously hard to do. -Yeah. -First of all, every other name in the world was chosen practically. And when you start thinking about domains, it gets even more weird. I came up with the idea for Pebble while I was lying on a hammock on a beach and it just struck me as the right name and I had to like run around to find some paper to write it down because I was just like something clicked and I knew that I had to call the next product to that one. -So you were like in a moment of like serenity and it just-- well, how did that-- like where-- -It was-- you can't, like we've actually had, we had naming sessions where we sit on a wakeboard and we try to come up with-- -Yeah, you can't do that. You just-- -It's impossible in the beach. -Yes. -What kind of a sit-- you were, you have a hammock? -No. I don't have a hammock. -You were on a vacation before Pebble happened. -Yeah, this was back in 2010. -Okay. -You know, our first product was called Impulse and it was a watch that worked exclusively with Blackberry phones. -Uh-hmm. A lot of strides made since then. -Yeah, big changes. -Just a few. So we wanted to change the phones that we work with and the name. -Yeah. -So that was a big thing. -You know, speaking of hardware, you know, just the early sort of the early opinions online are really great. But there is some confusions about the hardware inside. You know, there are obviously a lot of aesthetic changes. -Yeah. -But a lot of people are worried about how the new app store would sort of affect the memory and the storage. Is it the same amount of storage in the first one? -So we actually doubled the storage on Pebble. It's kind of-- when we first build Pebble, we have feature proof that we added as much tech into it as we could at the time. We added Bluetooth LE, we added a magnetometer and all kinds of other sensors. But we didn't even activate them at the beginning like so for example the first version of the SDK didn't enable developers to access the accelerometer the one in November did. And so we kinda continue that trend. We had the opportunity to double the memory in Pebble Steel we did. It's not activated yet. There's no way for developers to use it but it's there and we'll be using it at some point in the future. Same with the RGB LED, we added that in and it's activated for charge notifications now so when you plug your Pebble in, it turns like a blinking red and when it's charged it's green. That's what it does at the beginning. But overtime, you know, we're gonna be opening that up to the developers at some point in the future. You know, it kinda falls for our philosophy of like put as much tech into the hardware as possible so that we can maintain app compatibility overtime. That's why Pebble actually, Pebble Steel actually uses the exact same architecture as Pebble so that all apps are compatible with both watches. -I had a lot of experience using the first Pebble. But one thing that kinda got to me was the charger, the magnet. It just didn't wanna like stay put. How were you on this version? -Since it's all metal, we actually we're able to improve the magnet strength. We actually switched to a different connector on this one. -Okay, good. -It's still magnetic. It's just the magnets are much larger. -Right. It's just, it's more metal. -More. -Yeah. -More magnets. -All right, excellent. All right. There's no questions from the audience, raise your hand, question for Eric? No? You might win something. -Yeah, we got some good prices, you know. -All right, snooze you lose. -Oh, we got one over here-- -Now we have a question. -Can we get the mic over to this young man? -Yes. The App Store is gonna be launching for all Pebble users at the end of January. -Okay. -Excellent. And speaking of availability, can you give the list of when-- -Yes, so Pebble Steel, you can order it now on our website. The first units will start shipping on January 28th, but I know that the first batches are already been sold out. The next batch is available mid February. -Very cool. -Excellent. -And you'll still be able to access the App Store on the original Pebble if you got it that earlier then? -Yeah, exactly. -Okay. -All right. Excellent. Well, thank you so much Eric Migicovsky. Give a round of applause for the founder of Pebble here guys. -And if anyone wants to check it out after our show-- -Yeah, if you wanna check it out, we gotta get you a bodyguard for that. All right, don't worry. We'll be there. -Attached in my wrist. -Excellent. All right, well, that's gonna do it for us. Thank so much for tuning in to The 404 Show today. We will be back tomorrow and CNET has a whole lot more coming your way today including live interviews and product demos plus the next big thing at 3PM and the Drone Show at 4PM, so stay tune. That's gonna do it for us. I'm Jeff Bakalar. -And I'm Justin Yu. -Big thanks again to Eric Migicovsky from Pebble. That will do it for us. We'll see you tomorrow. Take care.