Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 24, 2015
Watching Pebble's live Kickstarter campaigns is becoming a bit like a spectator sport! I've been glued to the screen watching the pledges counter. As I write, Pebble's campaign total of $500,000 has been totally obliterated, and the total has now reached $6,576,994 (£4,256,485). With 31 days still remaining, how high can it go, and more importantly, can Pebble beat Exploding Kittens target of $8,782,571, which was set only a few days ago? Check out my Youtube video at the bottom of the page.
The reason why the "Kickstarter campaign crown of 2015" may very well go back to Pebble is that it's a mighty fine bit of hardware. Unlike the much hyped Apple Watch, the Pebble 2.0 (its correct name is "Pebble Time") has a full color, always-on e-paper screen, which means 7 days of battery life, unlike the Apple Watch will almost certainly require a daily charge. It is much slimmer, and far better looking that its more clunky predecessor, 20% slimmer to be exact. Rather than use a touchscreen, the Pebble Time retains the same button configuration as before, and it also uses a standard watch strap. It remains water resistant, so you can take a shower with it on, or go for a bike ride or run in the rain.
The software has also been much improved, in fact the Time got its name as a result of a shift in design thinking. The new OS is less about apps and more about what the creators call a "timeline", which displays notifications such as appointments, news, updates etc in order of priority. The new model will, however, continue to support existing apps, and the new OS will eventually run on the previous version, which will be good news for app developers, as well as existing owners.
It will be available in three colours, will feature a Gorilla Glass screen, and will have both Bluetooth LE (so it's less reliant on a smartphone), as well as a microphone and voice recognition so that users can use speech to convert spoken memos and messages into text.
It is not known why the company would head back to Kickstarter, as they already have a huge established customer base (over a million units have so far been sold), so it's probably a publicity stunt, but if it is, who cares. I'm enjoying the show. As the total rapidly approaches the $7 million mark, surely their previous record of $10.2m will soon be broken!
If you want to help the Pebble Time become one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever, head over and pre-order yours now for $159 (£102), which will be about $40 (£26) less than the RRP. The estimated shipping date is May, but it will become available to purchase online or in retail stores later this year.
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