People Really, REALLY want this e-paper SmartwatchHow long has it been since the first Kickstarter project raised more than $1 million, again? It feels like it was only a month or so ago. The new darling of the crowdfunding community is the Pebble Smartwatch, an e-ink watch that can pull down notifications, emails, messages, and even tell you the time, if you ask nicely.
The project has managed to garner 23,000 backers, who pledged $3.3 million. Oh, and the Kickstarter project still has a month to go. That means it already bests Double Fine’s $3.3 million final haul.
The appeal of the Pebble is that it is a smartwatch that has a long lasting battery, a sunlight readable display, and a decent form factor. Most smartwatches so far have been abysmal failures of form and function, melding a good idea with flawed execution. The Pebble looks to be avoiding that common pitfall.
Despite starting with an initial goal of just $100,000, the Pebble managed to get over $1 million in donations in just 28 hours. People really, really seem to want a product like this, and for good reason. The showcase video showed some truly compelling functionality, from simple bike computers to home automation and music control.
And with the open SDK that they are releasing, you can pipe pretty much any information to the watch you want. Imagine integration with turn by turn GPS directions, for example. A small vibration to alert you of an upcoming direction change, an arrow showing which way to go.
The Pebble boasts a 7 day battery life, thanks to its e-ink display. That display also makes it sunlight readable. The shipping date is estimated to be in September, so it will be a while before we can get our hands on one. But with 17,000 preorders so far, I have a feeling that they will be manufacturing plenty of these things.