A Watch for Ingress: Pebble + NATO Band + Compass

Watches.  They’re sooo last century – am I right?

Actually, I’ve been using my Pebble as a rather trusty companion for Ingress, and it’s a pretty awesome add-on for a few reasons:

  • It allows me to receive notifications of portal attacks by buzzing as soon as I receive a notification email from Niantic
  • It allows me to screen emails before needing to whip out my scanner if I am not actively in the field, or if I am driving – as well as screening G+ threads or other social media for relevance
  • There are a few cool faction-themed watch faces circulating now (STOP: Resistance Time!)
  • I can check my scanner’s battery status on my wrist using the Glance app for Pebble

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NATO Strap

It’s certainly helpful that the Pebble is water-resistant for field operations in all climatic conditions; and by changing the standard rubber watch strap that came with the Pebble to a NATO military strap, it is better secured to my wrist (the way a NATO strap is attached means that if one of the pins securing it to the watch breaks, the watch will stay attached to one’s wrist).  If other agents would like to attach a custom strap to their Pebble, the appropriate strap size is 22mm.  There are numerous NATO straps in various shades of Resistance blue or Enlightened green for those who would like to show their team colours. I got mine on eBay for about $9, and I preferred a subtle all-black band rather than sporting an overtly military or brightly coloured watch band: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/200877477841?var=500137539672&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649.

The one I have is cheaper than some of the others on eBay, but isn’t very long, sized for wearing on the wrist.  “Real” NATO straps are longer, allowing them to be put on over clothing (e.g. fatigues, wetsuits).  The extra length is tucked back through the extra loops on the outside of the strap when worn on the wrist – just something to be aware of.

Bearing Compass

I’ve also been trying out a wrist-mounted bearing compass for navigating to new portals while driving – previously, a compass was also useful for resonator deploys, to quickly determine the direction of the most defensible resonator position when the deploy screen only had cardinal positions rather than a map overlay.

Those days are long gone, but now, in “Navigate to Portal” mode, ADA calls out the direction and distance to the portal targeted, and I can drive in that direction without needing to look at my scanner – just keeping an eye on my compass from time to time.  For navigation on foot, I can even set a bearing on the compass (this one has degrees marked on a rotating bezel, and a bearing arrow on the base) and put away my scanner to save battery or improve my stealth in the presence of other agents.

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Still – I’m not sure how terribly useful it is to have a compass on my watchband, to tell you the truth: it hasn’t vastly improved my game as it did with the old cardinal point deployment system.  The only reason it is still on now is because I don’t even notice it on the band, so I haven’t been too fussed about taking it off.  Anyway, if you want one to try for yourself, you can get it on eBay, here: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/COMPASS-Watch-Band-Clip-on-Navigation-Wrist-Compass-New-Precision-LiquidFill-/360463504817?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53ed4c95b1&_uhb=1

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