Smart watch with iPhone connectivity nets $500,000 in Kickstarter funding in one day

Apr 12, 2012
Tech

Apparently, what iPhone owners want is a watch that lets them access their iPhones.That’s actually putting it a little simply, but if the Kickstarter campaign for a device called the Pebble is any indication, there’s a big market out there for a smart watch that can offer connectivity to users’ iPhones and some of their […]

Apparently, what iPhone owners want is a watch that lets them access their iPhones.That’s actually putting it a little simply, but if the Kickstarter campaign for a device called the Pebble is any indication, there’s a big market out there for a smart watch that can offer connectivity to users’ iPhones and some of their apps – something no current available smart watch offers.

Mashable reported on the Pebble, which just opened up a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign and gathered $500,000 in support in just its first 24 hours. The campaign had a goal of $100,000, and supporters pledged that inside the first two hours the campaign was live. As of this writing, it just surpassed $1 million.

There seems to be a lot to like about the Pebble, which is probably why users reacted so positively to the Kickstarter campaign. At its simplest, the Pebble is a watch, but it can connect to your iPhone (or Android phone) via Bluetooth to offer a few neat abilities that basically allow you to leave your phone in your pocket and check your watch to see things like emails and calls, or to switch tracks when using your phone as a music player.  Pebble also makes it possible to track runs or bike rides using your phone’s GPS capabilities, again without requiring actually pulling out your phone to mess with it.

The Pebble also seems to take a simpler approach than other smart watches. Instead of trying to be a replacement smartphone screen, it opts against a full-color display. Instead, Pebble uses an e-paper face that’s more like an Amazon Kindle than an iPhone, making it easy to view in direct sunlight. Given that the Pebble seems geared toward doing things like running and other on-the-go activities, a simpler design seems like the best option.

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InPulse, the company behind the watch, is also working on a software development kit that will allow app makers to add connectivity to their apps to make them work with the Pebble. If the device takes off, that could lead to some interesting innovations as apps find ways to leverage the ability to have two means of interacting with users instead of just one.

As the Kickstarter campaign notes, the Pebble will run users more than $150 when it goes on sale. If you donate to the campaign, however, you can get one for cheaper than that. Hit this link to check it out:

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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