Kickstarter is a fabulous place for new technology and innovative ideas, and the latest project to receive funds from enthusiastic backers is the Pebble E Paper Watch. The Pebble is the world’s first fully customizable watch, in which you can download internet-connected apps and stunningly different watch faces. All Pebble watches are designed to connect to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, and you can use the watch to alert you to incoming text messages, emails or calls.
The Pebble E-Paper watch will retail at $150, and at the start of the Kickstarter project, the target goal was $100,000, but the response has been amazing and by the end of the project the design had gained 68,929 backers who had pledged a whopping $10,266,845, which is 10,266% over the amount requested.
The designers of the Pebble E-Paper watch say that they ‘strove to create a minimalist yet fashionable product that seamlessly blends into everyday life’, and the watch is certainly eye-catching, but it is the apps that really set this watch apart from its rivals.
There is a cycling app that allows cyclists to use the Pebble as a bike computer, enabling them to access the GPS on smartphones to display speed, distance and pace data. In a similar vein, runners get the same sort of app that displays a set of data displayed on their wrist. There is a music app that controls what music you play, whether to pause or skip tracks on your phone with the touch of a button.
Sporting enthusiasts will be pleased to know that there is a special golfing app, created with Freecaddie that works on over 25,000 courses world-wide. The app on the watch will allow you to view your current distance to the green right on your wrist, handy as most courses do not allow mobile phones to be taken onto them.
The Pebble E-Paper uses an outdoor-readable electronic-paper (known as e-paper) display. The makers of Pebble are busy designing tons of watch faces, and you can choose your favourites by using Pebble’s iPhone or Android app. Then, if you want, you can change the face to match your mood, outfit or circumstances.
The amount of apps available for the Pebble watch is positively mind-blowing, with ideas such as sleep monitoring, status updates, travel notifications and much more in the pipeline.
The Pebble is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, 5 or any iPod Touch with iOS 5 or iOS 6. (iOS 5 and iPhone 3GS have restricted feature sets). Android devices running OS 2.3 and up. It also works great with Android 4.0. At present the Pebble does not work with Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, or Palm phones.
There is a rechargeable battery that will last you 7+ days, impressive as the watch display is constantly on. There is a backlight, allowing you to view the display at night, and the Pebble is waterproof to 5 ATM, which means that you can swim, go for a run in the rain or wash dishes with your Pebble, but you cannot wear it to dive, or expose it to hot water.
The Pebble is a Bluetooth device, and as such does affect the battery life of your phone, but only around an extra 5-10% per day. You charge the watch by using a special USB cable which is provided. You can charge Pebble using your computer or any wall USB charger.
The watch straps are designed to be replaced, and the Pebble uses 22mm watch bands.
The Pebble E-Paper has received rave reviews from many technological fanzines, such as EnGadget Lab: “Proven track record…Incredibly useful product” and The Verge: “Smartwatches haven’t really caught on with mainstream buyers – but that might change with Allerta’s new wrist-worn creation”
You can buy a Pebble E-Paper watch by visiting getpebble.com