February 26, 2015 weblog
Pebble turns to crowdfunding (again) for latest smartwatch
Never mind that there are a number of smartwatch brands on the market and that competition is fierce. Never mind that the marketplace is getting crowded with brands in an increasingly competitive smartwatch arena, with eyes staring beyond in wait of the Apple watch coming out this year, no less. Who dares to join the parade? Palo Alto, California-based Pebble does, is still at it, the smartwatch pioneers still actively promoting an ability to produce an ideal smartwatch that people won't just like but love.
The Pebble team said they were proud of the 26,000+ developers who have created over 6,500 apps and watchfaces for Pebble. In 2012, Pebble launched a Kickstarter campaign for its smartwatch and now it has launched another Kickstarter campaign, this time to fund its new Pebble Time. Why did they return to crowdfunding mode? According to the company's pitch on Kickstarter, "Even though we've grown tremendously since then, we're still a small company battling some of the largest competitors in the world. We believe that this is the best and most efficient way for us to get our latest product to the people who want it most: people like you." Company CEO Eric Migicovsky called the new entry Pebble Technology's "next-generation" smartwatch, with targeted delivery in May. Supporters can choose from any of three colors – black, white, or red. In designing Pebble Time, the team followed their core belief: "A smartwatch should help simplify your life, it shouldn't try to replace your smartphone, or distract you even more," said Migicovsky.
As for signs of campaign success, it appears one can't underestimate interest in wrist-mounted tech. At the time of this writing, with 30 days still left to go, supporters pledged $9,565,442 out of a $500,000 goal. Features include a new color e-paper display, readable even in brightest sunlight. The device is thinner (Pebble Time is 20 percent thinner than the original Pebble) with a design that comfortably fits the curve of the wrist. Other features are a new timeline interface and battery life of up to seven days; compared with display technology such as LCD or OLED, power consumption is minimized. Also, Pebble Time's new microphone lets the user send voice replies to incoming notifications or take short voice notes. The device is water-resistant. As for price, it will retail for $199. Pebble Time sold out at its lowest listing of $159 and is now being offered for $179, which offers a choice of any of the three colors. The Pebble "appstore" has thousands of watchfaces and apps compatible with iOS and Android.
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