One of the sadder tech product stories of the last few years is the fate of WebOS, the excellent operating system from Palm that HP bought and eviscerated. Having been among the earliest adopters of the Palm Treo, we had a Palm Pre smartphone on our desk here at WTI for a long time, just to remind ourselves that Apple doesn’t have a monopoly on elegant hardware and software design. The Pre had more than its share of shortcomings, but it would have been a significant player if it had been given time and resources to develop.
Pebble is unlikely to meet the same fate at Palm, but it will clearly be challenged by the rise of Android Wear smart watches. The Pebble watches are great notification devices and visible badges of geekdom — we wear one, having paid for it ourselves — but we’ve been wondering that they’re planning to do to fend off commodity wristware. New colors won’t cut it.
That’s why we’re struck by reports that WebOS TV team has joined Pebble. The Verge reports that Itai Vonshak (UX) and Liron Damir (design) have moved to Pebble from LG, where they worked on an LG WebOS television. That’s encouraging news, because it means that a) there may be life to WebOS yet and b) there may be life to Pebble yet.