New Smartwatch Causes Funding Frenzy On KickStarter

New Smartwatch Causes Funding Frenzy On KickStarter

Apr 12

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FUNDING FRENZY! IPHONE-FRIENDLY WATCH NETS $1 MILLION MORE ON KICKSTARTER
By Chris Taylor
Mashable
April 12, 2012

Original Link

Remember when the Pebble, the watch that talks to your iPhone or Android device via an array of open-source apps, was asking for a mere $100,000 on crowdfunding site Kickstarter?

Well, actually, the Pebble is officially still only asking for $100,000 on Kickstarter. But the Internet has responded with a loud chorus of “shut up and take my money!”

The Pebble’s funding hit $500,000 Wednesday evening. It reached $1 million in investment, just 28 hours after the Kickstarter launched.

By midnight Friday ET, the hot little e-paper wristwatch had blasted past the $1.5 million mark.

There are 35 days remaining in the Kickstarter.

Not bad for a device nobody has actually tested in the wild yet. (Though some own its predecessor, the Android-only InPulse watch.)

Each early investor gets a Pebble at a slight discount ($115 versus $150). But what the funding frenzy really suggests is a burning need that has so far not been met — to extend the capability of your smartphone, especially your iPhone, to other wearable devices.

But only in a way that makes sense. Part of the Pebble’s appeal is this: it’s a relatively simple, dumb device that lets the phone do the heavy lifting. It communicates with your apps, rather than trying to replicate them.

Perhaps most importantly, the information is displayed using a technology — Kindle-like e-paper — that isn’t likely to drain the watch’s battery. (What the constant Bluetooth communication does to it remains to be seen.)

Meanwhile, the celebration is only beginning at Pebble Technology in Palo Alto. “We popped a bottle of champagne at $200k, because we missed the $100k milestone,” founder Eric Migicovsky told Mashable.

At this rate, he’ll be on caviar and oysters by day 35.

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PEBBLE: E-PAPER WATCH FOR IPHONE AND ANDROID
Kickstarter

Original Link

Pebble is the first watch built for the 21st century. It’s infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps. Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, alerting you with a silent vibration to incoming calls, emails and messages. While designing Pebble, we strove to create a minimalist yet fashionable product that seamlessly blends into everyday life.

CUSTOMIZE WITH APPS

Apps bring Pebble to life. We’re building some amazing apps for Pebble. Cyclists can use Pebble as a bike computer, accessing the GPS on your smartphone to display speed, distance and pace data. Runners get a similar set of data displayed on their wrist. Use the music control app to play, pause or skip tracks on your phone with the touch of a button. If you’re a golfer, feel free to bring Pebble onto the course. We’re working with Freecaddie to create a great golf rangefinder app for Pebble that works on over 25,000 courses world-wide. Instead of using your phone, view your current distance to the green right on your wrist. These apps will be the first, with more in the works!

CUSTOMIZE WITH WATCHFACES

Pebble can change instantly, thanks to its brilliant, outdoor-readable electronic-paper (e-paper) display. We’ve designed tons of watchfaces already, with more coming every day. Choose your favourite watchfaces using Pebble’s iPhone or Android app. Then as the day progresses, effortlessly switch to the one that matches your mood, activity or outfit.

CUSTOMIZE WITH NOTIFICATIONS

If you need to stay on top of things, Pebble can help with vibrating notifications, messages and alerts. Dismiss a notification with a shake of your wrist. Don’t worry, it’s easy to disable all notifications.

- Incoming Caller ID
- Email (Gmail or any IMAP email account)
- Calendar Alerts
- Facebook Messages
- Twitter
- Weather Alerts
- Silent vibrating alarm and timer

Android users can also receive Text Messages (SMS) on their Pebble. Unfortunately iPhone does not expose this data. Have any suggestions for other notification types? Leave us a message in the comments!

Each Pebble has a textured plastic case, shatter resistant lens with an anti-reflective optical coating and a custom-designed 22mm rubber strap. You’ll also receive a special USB cable that recharges the watch.

FAQ

Q. How long does the battery last?

A. The rechargeable battery keeps Pebble going for 7+ days.

Q. Does the watch display stay on all the time?

A. Yes. The display shows a watchface at all times.

Q. Does it have a backlight?

A. Yes, Pebble has a backlight to view the display at night.

Q. Is it waterproof?

A. Pebble is now water resistant, at least enough to go swimming, run in the rain etc. You can fully submerge Pebble in water. We’re working on getting the actual certification level settled (3ATM, 5ATM, etc). This is in response to your suggestions!

Q. Scratchproof?

A. Yes, Pebble has a scratch and shatter resistant lens with an anti-glare optical coating.

Q. Does it use up my phones battery?

A. Pebble is a Bluetooth device, similar to a Bluetooth headset. It does affect the battery life of your phone, usually using up an extra 5-10% per day.

Q. How does it charge?

A. We include a special USB cable. You can charge Pebble using your computer or any wall USB charger.

Q. Can I replace the bands?

A. Yes, Pebble is designed to fit most 22mm watch bands.

For more information, go here.

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