The Pebble E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android is a Kickstarter project,and is expected out a little later this year. Kickstarter is a really interesting concept, with a lot of brilliant ideas getting crowd sourced funding to turn ideas into products.
But back to the Pebble. What is it? Let’s start with the blurb, and go from there:
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.
So it’s a smartwatch. There’s apps written, and apps being written. More on that later. But the first really great feature of the Pebble, is its screen. It’s no LCD / LED or the like, it’s a 144 x 168 pixel display black and white e-paper display. That choice of screen means the watch will be easier to read when outside, suffering less from glare, and with higher definition than LCD / LED. The watch screen is always-on, that is always displaying something on the face, and is backlit for night use.
Next, is that it is pretty damn platform-friendly. With Apple iOS and Android accommodated, that’s the greater part of the smartphone market there as potential pairing partners. The Pebble at launch will be compatible with:
- iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S running iOS 5 or any iPod Touch with iOS 5
- Android devices running OS 2.3 and up. Works great with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
The Pebble is constructed of a plastic case, anti-reflective, shatter resistant lens, and a rubber strap. It charges via a USB cable connected to a computer, or a wall USB charger. Fully charged, the rechargeable battery will run for around about 7 days. The Pebble pairs with your smartphone via Bluetooth.
Some apps have already been completed, and developers have been able to access a software developer’s kit to write more apps for the Pebble. Some apps ready to go are:
- Incoming caller ID
- Email (Gmail or any IMAP email account)
- Calendar alerts
- Facebook messages
- Weather alerts
- Silent vibrating alarm and timer
Taking a leaf from Apple’s playbook, Pebble will launch a watchapp store to add functionality and customisation for owners. Runkeeper is one popular smartphone app you can expect to see play nice with The Pebble.
The Pebble colour range and release date
The initial colour range will be white, black and red – or, to give them their marketing language colours, Arctic White, Jet Black and Cherry Red – with a fourth colour to be chosen by public vote.
The Pebble has been three years in the making so far. When the makers put this project on Kickstarter, they were after $100,000. At the time of writing, they have almost 60,000 backers, pledging almost $9 million, with still 10 days to run on the funding window. September 2012 is the estimated delivery time.
The price of The Pebble is expected to be around the US$150 mark, excluding freight. Pledge US$115, and you’ll be sent one of the watches. As stated above, pledges are open for another 10 days, at The Pebble E-Paper Watch page on Kickstarter.
A video tour of The Pebble
For a closer look at the Pebble, and some of the back story, the company has produced this short video: