The Peek was a bizarre device from the start. In an age when devices are converging and the smartphone rules the pocket, the Peek was a single use email device. Now that the Peek service has been killed, CEO Amol Sarva has let it be known that the company is planning to unload a few thousand of the devices on hardware modders and hackers. You just have to drop him a line.
Technology produces a marketplace that is both fascinating and puzzling. The fascination comes with the incredible devices that are rolled out in a constant stream of “wow.” Puzzling in that some of these devices don’t seem to make a lot of sense.
Peek, a New York mobile start-up, has introduced the TwitterPeek. It is a device with the sole purpose of allowing you to post and read tweets. That’s it. Nothing more. And it goes for $100, with an $8 per month service charge after six months. Or you could spring for a life time of tweeting nirvana for $200. (Exactly how long is a lifetime in today’s digital world?)
This isn’t Peek's only foray into mobile messaging. There is also Peek Classic and the Peek Pronto, designed for email and text-messaging, but not for making phone calls.
It would seem that the functionality of the TwitterPeek is available on most smartphones. And certainly handheld WiFi devices, like the iPod Touch, can manage this as well. And better yet, these devices can actually do other things, like make phone calls or browse the web, or listen to music, or watch video.
If there’s a market, then there’s a market. Still, all-in-all, puzzling.
A power user expects a phone to be an all-in-one communication/personal entertainment device that includes a web browser, GPS, media player, camera, SMS, and IM. However, if you only want to make calls and check your email, a smartphone doesn’t make much economic sense. The initial cost is high and monthly data plans are also expensive. Peek hopes its eponymous email-only device will catch on with people who want email on the go but not the other smartphone accoutrements.
The Peek is a slim (4.0”x2.7”x 0.4”) handheld email device with a bright 320x240 screen. It retails for $80 with a $20 monthly data plan. And if all you want is email, the Peek gets the job done—with some caveats. For a casual user, the device’s limitations may be inconsequential, but tech-savvy individuals will find the shortcomings to be deal breakers.