Pebble Watch Begins with a Kickstarter

In a stunning record-breaker/deal-maker for fundraising platform Kickstarter, the Pebble has gained a combined pledge of $6.6 million from avid backers, a few weeks shy of its funding deadline and over sixty times the company’s humble $100,000 funding goal.

The Pebble is a compact hyper-digital watch with an electronic paper (e-paper) face, designed to connect with Android phones and iPhones and help streamline what may be a messy app collection. The Pebble’s creators believe that customization is king, and they have designed their unique watch to be the ultimate in custom cool.

Running on Bluetooth technology, the Pebble allows for instant phone-watch connection and synchronization.

Notable features include:

  • Water resistance: drop it in the toilet or swim with it, it’ll still workAnti-glare display: look at it indoors or outdoors, you’ll still see what time it is, any time
  • Customizable watch face: choose from a huge selection of creative and eye-grabbing designs for a high-resolution watch face after your own heart
  • Sweet colours: pick from Cherry Red, Jet Black, Arctic White and a fourth mystery colour to be chosen and voted on by the gadget’s fans
  • Music playback control: change the song or set a different playlist without taking your smartphone out of your pocket or backpack
  • Sports sync: make use of the GPS-connected pedometer, golf rangefinder, bike computer and similar apps to turbo-charge your workout
  • Vibe, vite: set your watch to give you a good vibration every time you get a message, alert or notification to your phone—works with your email, Facebook, Twitter and more
  • Developer’s delight: if you think you can one-up the Pebble’s creators in the coding department, you can always make and tweak watch apps of your very own with the open SDK (software development kit)

Granted, the Pebble is still in the beta stage; the prototypes are being refined and have yet to enter production, but that phase is not too far on the horizon, thanks to Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is an innovative and effective crowdsourcing site for artists, software developers and similar creative types to showcase their bright ideas and compete for start-up capital. The funding platform’s model is simple: post a page detailing what you want to make along with your plan for gettin’ ‘er done, and take lots of photos and videos as you go along and offer rewards—like a copy of the final product—to entice members of the public to back you up. Interested individuals can pledge funds in several increments, from $100 to $10,000 or more, for various rewards, and do not pay a penny until the funding deadline. Their credit card information is saved to the platform’s far back-end, and only if the project is successful do they get billed.

And it looks like the Pebble is set to soar very soon; at the onset, the developers set a very modest fundraising goal, a goal that has been quickly met and greatly surpassed, a fact that has spurred the designers to further improve the ingenious product. Thanks to Kickstarter, social media meets financial leverage—connecting creatives like the Pebble Dream Team with savvy consumers who are the ultimate arbiters of gadget culture.

Word Count: 525;

May 3, 2012:

editor writer


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