Is being the “world’s first Twitter mobile device” a good thing? Ask the Twitter Peek, the $199.99 device that is dedicated to updating and reading messages on Twitter. It’s like your smart phone, except it can’t make phone calls, send or receive text messages, go online, take photos or run applications. For $199.99, the Twitter Peek is an anemic device.
The Wall Street Journal says the Twitter Peek was a collaboration between Twitter and Peek, but doesn’t quote anyone from Twitter in their article. I would find it hard to believe that a company that can’t smoothly roll out new software features is all of a sudden moving into the hardware space. I haven’t read anything besides the Wall Street Journal article that somehow implies Twitter is involved in the Twitter Peek, even on the official website of the device. It certainly seems like that should be something that the Journal double checked before publishing, right?
The Twitter Peek boasts that it is “TwitterPeek is designed for Twitter, so it’s easier to use”. Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure that Tweetie 2 was also designed for Twitter and only costs me $2.99 with my currently existing iPhone. I get unlimited data with at&t, despite their poor service, so I’m not really worried about my 140 character Twitter messages pushing my data usage to the extreme. I’m not the only one who is skeptical, check what CrunchGear had to say: The TwitterPeek is a Peek that tweets.
For $99, you can buy an iPhone 3G. For $200, you can buy a Motorola Droid or iPhone 3GS. When you pay for your data service, YOU CAN ACCESS TWITTER. Someone feeling so dedicated to their Twitter account that they feel the need to be “always on” past the point of what a smart phone can offer is someone who needs to get out more often (maybe that’s the point of the device). Anyone who uses Twitter for professional reasons or represents a brand on Twitter has more than one account. You only have access to one account with the Twitter Peek, so if you really need to manage your personal and professional account be prepared to pony up for two Twitter Peek devices.
If you want to view a website, tough luck pal. According to Peek, they “plan to add support for previewing links in the near future” and TwitPic is the only mentioned photo service for viewing. The Twitter Peek doesn’t have a camera, so dont think that you’ll be uploading photos either. You’ll also need to carry around your smart phone for that. Or, if you already own a Peek device that isn’t OMG FOR TWITTER, you can just use the Peek App Peek Feed to read and update Twitter using Ping.fm. Remind me why I should buy the Twitter Peek one more time?
The device was panned on Jimmy Fallon when it debuted, being laughed at by the crowd when it was explained what it does. Check it out:
Who the hell is this thing aimed at? My money is that Twitter addicts already have a smart phone from which they update Twitter with and can also take photos, browse the web, check Facebook. As a matter of fact, the only friends I have that don’t have smart phones don’t give a hoot about Twitter anyway. I’m interested to see how this goes. In the year that the Peek has existed, I’ve run into exactly one person who owns one. This includes multiple Podcamps, Blogworld and SXSW. Somehow I don’t think I’ll run into anyone with a Twitter Peek anytime soon.