The Pebble smartwatch for iPhone and Android is a prime example of the bizarre times in which we live. In an era of people increasingly telling time by looking at the corner of their computer or their smartphone lock screens, Pebble wants to make the wristwatch everyone's preferred timepiece. But instead of pitting the watch and smartphone as competitors for one function, Pebble tries to go beyond the default use case for either device and do much more.

Sony, Microsoft, Motorola, among others have also tried to turn the watch into more than just a timepiece, but even their millions of dollars in R&D and years of manufacturing experience couldn't quite get the category right. Yet Pebble, a humble Kickstarter project embraced by nearly 70,000 backers, is the most buzzed-about smartwatch yet. Have those early believers been vindicated by the release of a phenomenal product or are they just another cautionary tale of what happens when reality doesn't meet the hype?

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