Pebble e-paper watch takes Kickstarter by storm

Some Kickstarter projects never come close to being funded, some barely make it, some make it with a nice margin, and some make it with such a margin that it puts all the other projects to shame. The Pebble smartwatch is in the latter category, having raised over $400,000 in a day and having over a month left to add to that. So what exactly is making Kickstarter users go nuts over this?

The Pebble is a smartwatch, and at this point, it's not the first. Sony's second generation watch is about to come out, replacing the Sony Ericsson LiveView. Then there's the more expensive (and complex) i'm Watch, and several others. The Pebble stands out by promising iPhone support out of the box – and not the kind of limited functionality that iPhone users normally have to deal with either, full support. That means that the Pebble's outdoor-viewable 144 x 168 pixel black and white electronic paper display is at your fingertips to show you iPhone notifications, control you music, act as a sports accessory, and the rest of the goodies that such a watch is capable of. It will get more functionality through apps that are pushed over Bluetooth the way the LiveView works, and it will work with Android as well. 

Another thing that's interesting here is the e-paper screen, which is no doubt the reason why the project creators can claim 7+ days of battery life. Despite the screen being designed for external light, there is a backlight system in it to make it usable at night. The screen choice alone is a big change from traditional smart watches, and s smart move if you ask me. 

Since this already reached its funding goal the Kickstarter page is now more or less a pre-order page in the true sense, with September being quoted as the expected delivery date. That might sound like a long time, but remember that this product is looking for funding to get produced, it's not sitting in storage somewhere. Pre-ordering one will set you back $115, while waiting for it to hit retail will cause the price to jump to "more than $150". 

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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