The Pebble smartwatch is one of the all time Kickstarter success stories. It smashed its $100,000 target, and went on to break the $10million mark by the time all was said and done. Since the closure of the Kickstarter campaign, there have been delays, leaving many wondering when, or even if, the device they'd thrown some of their hard earned at may appear. The good news is, the waiting is almost at an end. The Pebble is complete, they are being manufactured, and the official word is that they will begin shipping to Kickstarter backers from Jan. 23.
The Pebble smartwatch is an interesting product. Connecting to your Android smartphone, it allows any number of notifications and interactions from your wrist, leaving your phone in your pocket. Coupled with a backlit electronic paper display, visible even in bright sunlight, and a battery life of around 7 days, the Pebble could well take off where other Smartwatches haven't.
Since the early prototypes, a couple of extra hardware features have been squeezed in. There's now a magnetometer inside to offer compass like functionality, and an ambient light sensor. Re-charging the Pebble is taken care of via magnetic contacts.
One notable absentee from the launch of the Pebble though is Runkeeper support. The simple message is that it just isn't ready, and they're working with Runkeeper to make it happen. The estimate so far we're given is March.
Better yet, Pebble says they will be shipping out the smartwatches to people in the order they entered the Kickstarter campaign. So, if you're backer number 1, you'll be first in line when it comes to shipping. Manufacturing has reached around 15,000 units per week, so the initial batch of Kickstarter orders will take 6-8 weeks to complete. After that, they'll move onto website pre-orders.
The CEO of Pebble has completed a full demo of the smartwatch in a briefing session at CES, which is embedded for you to check out after the break. Be warned though, the colors are off, and everyone looks somewhat like a smurf.
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