If you have any doubts that the general public wants “smartwatches” to work in tandem with their smartphones, you may want to lay them to rest. The Pebble E-Paper Watch from Pebble Technology originally set out to with a $100,000 Kickstarter goal to fund the development of an app driven, smartphone-centric, E-Paper based watch but found themselves flying past their goal, having raised 1 million dollars in pledges in their first 28 hours. As of the time of writing, the Pebble has garnered well over 5 million dollars worth of support from over 36,000 backers, making the Pebble the most funded Kickstarter campaign ever. The Pebble can credit great timing, a nice design, and an excellent price point for their hugely successful Kickstarter project.
- 144 x 166 pixel E-Paper display
- Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
- 4 Buttons
- Vibration and audible alerts
- 3 axis accelerometer
- Backlight for display
- Will be water resistant (thanks to high level of pledges/suggestions)
- 7+ day battery (charges via USB)
- 22mm lugs
- Choice of colors
- Pricing starts at $115
- Estimated delivery in Sept 2012
The Pebble is app driven so it will be completely manged from the users smartphone, though compatibility will be limited to iPhone/iPod Touch (iOS5) or Anrdoid (OS 2.3 and up). The Pebble works as a wrist-top screen for your smartphone, displaying user-selected information via a Bluetooth 2.1+EDR connection. This connection allows for incoming call id, weather information, music control, alarms, sms (Android only), as well as notifications for email, Twitter, Facebook and more. Additional functions and features should follow in the wake of the Pebble’s release as Pebble Technology is also releasing an open SDK which will allow app development from those actually using the watch.
As the screen is E-Paper based, the battery life is an impressive seven (+) days and when no other features are in use the screen will show a customizable time display (similar to what we have seen with the iPod Nano’s watch-like faces). We suggest checking out their Kickstarter page for a video explaining the Pebble and also showing the Pebble leveraging a smartphone’s GPS ability for applications in cycling, golf, and running. These possibilities are endless and are really only limited by creativity and what is accessible in the smartphone’s software.
The Pebble is not the only watch that promises to shoehorn your smartphone’s capabilities into the familiar wristwatch architecture we all know. There are options from at least a half-dozen other brands but the Pebble offers an E-Paper display, open SDK, and the pricing is very reasonable. You can pledge your way into a black Pebble for only $115 via their Kickstarter page, but that pricing will only be available until the campaign ends on May 18th. $115 is G-Shock money, and we think the Pebble should be worth every cent when it ships this September. Just as consumers are starting to warm up to the idea of a data enabled watch, Pebble Technologies (@pebblewatch) have proposed a well-priced and very promising concept which has lead to a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign and a product we cannot wait to see in person.