Pebble Time smartwatch launches on Kickstarter, raises $4m in three hours
Pebble Time, the latest gadget from smartwatch maker Pebble Technology, launched on Kickstarter today and has already smashed its $500,000 target, raising over $4m in its first three hours.
The new device features a colour e-paper display, which consumes much less power than the LCD and OLED displays used on rival smartwatches like the Samsung Gear S, Moto 360 and forthcoming Apple Watch – meaning the battery can last up to seven days.
The Pebble Time is 20 per cent thinner than the original Pebble; the lens is made from scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass and the bezel is made of stainless steel. It is water resistant and features a quick-release mechanism for changing the strap, which comes in three colours.
The Pebble Time introduces a new microphone, allowing users to send voice replies to incoming notifications or compose short voice notes. It also has a smart accessory port, enabling hardware developers to build sensors and smart straps that connect directly to the watch.
The operating system has been updated to organise relevant information like notifications, weather, news, travel, and reminders chronologically. This allows wearers to easily see what's coming up next or scroll back to catch up on things that happened in the past.
The Pebble Time is compatible with all 6,500 existing Pebble apps and watchfaces, and Pebble is working with The Weather Channel, ESPN, Jawbone, Evernote, Pandora and others to build new experiences for the watch.
Like other Pebble watches, Pebble Time is compatible with both iPhone and Android smartphones, including the iPhone 4s and newer phones running the latest version of iOS 8 and all Android 4.0+ phones.
It is available for $159 exclusively on Kickstarter, with worldwide shipping to backers starting in May. Later this year, Pebble Time will retail for $199 and be available online at getpebble.com and in stores worldwide.
Pebble Technology's decision to launch the Pebble Time on Kickstarter comes after the original Pebble watch raised $10.3m in a campaign on the crowdfunding platform in 2012 – the most money raised for any product on the site at the time.
"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 Technology.
"With Pebble Time, we’re launching completely new hardware and reimagined software while keeping all the things people love about Pebble."
The launch comes just weeks before of the long-anticipated launch of the Apple Watch, which was first unveiled in September 2014. The Apple Watch has a flexible Retina display, and iOS-based user interface and costs $349. Battery life has not been announced.