Crowd-sourced funding is beginning to look like the next big thing, with another Kickstarter project breaking funding records .Kickstarter allows anybody to invest in an idea or product, giving as much money as they would like, with rewards being given to those who spend more money. If a project does not reach its goal, set by the creator, then no money is sent.
Pebble, the latest Kickstarter success story, is an e-paper watch that connects via Bluetooth to your iPhone or Android device, giving you access to music controls, fitness applications and a full watch replacement. With a
7-hour 7-day battery and scratch resistant display, it’s not that much of a surprise that the project has gained attention. The surprise is that, with a month remaining. the Pebble has raised over US$3.3 million.
Not to be confused with the Sony LiveView or the iPod nano, Pebble isn’t a touchscreen device. But it makes up for that with beautiful clock faces and great potential with an SDK for apps, as well as included apps. Out of the box it also supports caller ID, email, calendar alerts, Facebook and Twitter notifications, weather and silent vibrating alarms and timers. There are already applications in development that track jogging, cycling and other excercise using your phones GPS. Apps can be easily made with if this then that (ifttt.com) or their own web service or an SDK and an application storefront.
For now the watch will work with the iPhone 3GS and above, the iPod touch with iOS 5 (lacking GPS and other data features) and Android phones running 2.3 and above. It doesn’t work with Blackberry, Windows Phone 7 or Palm devices (personally devastating, as an owner of a Palm Pre 2 and a Windows Phone), but it’s unclear as to whether this could be included via software update or buying a new device altogether later down the line.
I really find the idea of using a phone via a wristwatch pretty exciting, especially after enjoying my iPod nano watch (more on that soon), and this really feels like something that could only have been dreamed of in the past.
If you would like to pledge some money, you can do so here at the Kickstarter page. Otherwise, here is their video featuring a fully-working prototype.