iPhone-compatible 'smart watch' raises $100K in two hours

Despite having not owned a watch in more than 10 years, I can appreciate the allure of the iPhone-compatible Pebble E-Paper Watch, a Kickstarter project that was funded in less than two hours.

Pebble

The concept of Pebble's "smart watch" is simple -- a clean interface running useful apps and wrapped in a fashionable watch interface. The key to Pebble's inevitable success will be its apps.

According to its Kickstarter page, the Pebble E-Paper Watch will ship with the capability to run several apps using some of the functionality of your iPhone or Android smartphone via Bluetooth connection.

For example, bikers can get information about their speed, distance, and total time by using the GPS capabilities of their connected smartphone. Runners will also get a similar functionality.

Pebble's watch will also allow users to control their music, view notifications like text messages, e-mails, Facebook and Twitter messages, and caller ID, and get golf rangefinder information on more than 25,000 courses worldwide, thanks to a partnership with FreeCaddie.

Pebble

With Pebble's overwhelming success on Kickstarter, customers can expect more apps to be created by developers looking to add their services to this new device. The video below shows the Pebble E-Paper Watch in action:

In addition to the apps, the Pebble E-Paper Watch has several customizable watch faces that users can choose from by using Pebble's iPhone or Android app. Currently the watches come in three colors: Arctic White, Jet Black, and Cherry Red.

Reading through Pebble's FAQ, its watch batteries (which are rechargeable via USB) are tested to last approximately 7 days. The watch lens is scratch- and shatter-proof and coated with an antiglare optical coating. You'll want to keep in mind that most of the apps use your smartphone's Bluetooth connection and access GPS data. This can decrease your daily battery life expectancy if your phone's Bluetooth is turned on all day.

At time of writing, the Kickstarter project has received nearly $300,000 in funding from more than 2,200 backers. You can preorder a Jet Black watch for $115 or an Arctic White or Cherry Red watch for $125 on Pebble's project page.

 

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