The Pebble smartwatch was the first big Kickstarter success story. In a little over a month, Pebble raised over $10.2 million dollars, thanks to nearly 69,000 backers. Today, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky announced at CES that Pebble has finally entered manufacturing, and that the first devices will begin shipping out to backers on January 23rd. At full power, Pebble’s manufacturing partners will crank out 15,000 watches per week, so Migicovsky says it will take 6-8 weeks to fulfill all of their Kickstarter orders, at which point Pebble will start shipping to those who preordered through getpebble.com after the Kickstarter campaign ended.
For the unfamiliar, Pebble is a beautifully design “smartwatch” that debuted as a Kickstarter project in April, 2012. The watch features a simple, compact design, and a small, black and white, E Paper display. Users can customize their Pebble with different watch faces, which can be downloaded through the companion iOS or Android app, and installed on the watch via. Bluetooth. Pebble also displays notifications from your phone, and at launch will support SMS, email, and incoming calls, as well as iMessage on iOS, and Google Talk and Google Voice on Android. Developers will soon be able to built Pebble apps, or build-in Pebble support to their existing apps,using the forthcoming Pebble SDK. Pebble has already announced support for IFTT, and RunKeeper integration is coming at a later date. Users can also use Pebble to control music playback on their smartphone.
My interest in wearable technology has been piqued as of late, and I actually preordered a Pebble for myself this past weekend. I’m excited by the prospect of an open source smartwatch, since the possibilities are pretty much limitless. Hopefully developers will come up with some interesting new apps and functionality for Pebble, and dream up new ways for wearable technology to integrate into our daily lives.
If you want to grab one for yourself, Pebble is still available to preorder online, for the fairly low price of $150, in your choice of black, white, silver, red, or orange.