Pebble Time Smartwatch
After the overwhelming success of its first smartwatch, American company Pebble is returning to Kickstarter to build its second smartwatch, Pebble Time. And we think it looks pretty awesome!
The new device will have a colour e-paper display, which when compared with display technology like LCD or OLED, power consumption is minimised, enabling Pebble Time to achieve an industry-leading battery life of up to 7 days.
It will also have a microphone enabling users to send short voice replies to notifications and messages received from the watch via their smartphone. Sending voice replies will work with most major Android apps including SMS, Hangouts, Gmail, Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp. But for iOS users, voice replies are currently limited to Gmail notifications but Pebble say they’re working to enable voice replies for more apps.
Pebble raised more than £6.4m in crowdfunding for its first generation device and since then has sold more than one million Pebble watches worldwide. That’s impressive by anyones standards.
Even more impressive is following the announcement of Pebble Time, in the first hour alone more than £1.2m had been raised by roughly 11,000 backers, smashing the device’s initial fundraising target of $500,000 (£323,000). It’s clearly caught the attention of the masses.
“Pebble was first brought to life by 69,000 backers and people who supported our vision three years ago. We could not think of a better way to share our new watch,” said Eric Migicovsky, chief executive of Pebble. “With Pebble Time, we’re launching completely new hardware and re-imagined software.”
The new watch will be 20% thinner than its predecessor and comes with a smart accessories port which the firm hopes will encourage developers to build hardware for it. There’s obviously no guarantees, but with this sort of support behind it, it’s hard to imagine manufacturers won’t be interested.
While developing software for the original Pebble, the company uncovered the main problem with smartwatches: apps are an inefficient way to interact with a smartwatch. As you increase functionality by adding more apps, smartwatches become clogged up and it became harder to quickly find the app you need. To make the Pebble more useful, the company has developed a new operating system that organises alerts chronologically on their new time-line interface – which seems pretty logical to us!
Pebble intends to ship the new watch to its crowdfunder backers at the end of May, and hope to have it on sale worldwide by the end of the year. The Pebble Time comes in three colours (Black, White and Red) available exclusively on Kickstarter, with a retail price of around £128.
We love the sound of the Pebble Time and while the Apple Watch may look cleaner and more sophisticated, we think the Pebble Time should do well up against the more expensive Apple Watch. If you agree, get over to Kickstarter and get your order in!