Pebble Watch Goes Color on Kickstar...
Pebble Watch Goes Color on Kickstarter
When Apple unveiled the Apple Watch last year, the company chose to do so in the same space it showed off the Macintosh computer 30 years earlier.
It seems that Pebble, the maker of a popular smartwatch, has chosen to do the same thing. But rather than go to a packed auditorium, Pebble is selling its new color smartwatch, called Pebble Time, on Kickstarter.
"This is where it all started," the company wrote on its Kickstarter page. "Three years ago you supported our vision to make the world's first real smartwatch. The Kickstarter community and our early adopters believed in us before anyone else even knew we existed."
Pebble Time has a number of new features that separate it from its black-and-white counterpart of three years ago. The new watch comes with a color e-paper display and microphone that will allow people to respond to notifications. Pebble Time is also completely compatible with the 6,500 existing Pebble apps and watch-faces, including RunKeeper, Weather Channel and Dotz.
The Kickstarter community seemed to rally behind the watch instantly. Within the first few minutes of the unveiling, Pebble blew past its goal of selling $500,000 worth of Pebble Time watches. By late-morning the Kickstarter page was nearing $3 million worth of sales with 15,000 backers.
There is an incentive for people to buy the new watch now. People who purchase the watch early on Kickstarter will be able to pay $160 for the Pebble Time, which will cost $200 at retail locations later this year. Kickstarter buyers can also choose from three different color watches.
In an email interview, Eric Migicovsky, the company's chief executive, touted some of the features that separate Pebble Time from the coming Apple Watch, including — and this could be a big draw for customers — a better battery life.
"Pebble Time has up to 7 days of battery life, an always-on display, water resistance for swimming, compatibility with both iPhone and Android and is less than half the price of the cheapest Apple Watch," he said. Unlike LCD or OLED displays on high-end smartwatches, power consumption on the Pebble Time is minimized because it uses technology similar to E-Ink.
Mr. Migicovsky explained that the reason Pebble chose to go back to Kickstarter to unveil the new watch was a way to acknowledge how much the Kickstarter community helped launch the company three years ago.
"Pebble was brought to life by 68,929 backers on Kickstarter who supported our vision three years ago and helped jumpstart the smartwatch industry," he said. "Even though we've grown tremendously since then, we're still a small company battling some of the largest competitors in the world. We believe that launching on Kickstarter is the best and most efficient way for us to get our latest product to the people who want it most: our core user community."Pebble plans to offer the watch directly to consumers in over 150 countries around the world launch later this year. The Pebble Time sold on Kickstarter is expected to begin shipping this May.