Pebble Time also has a smart accessory port, enabling hardware developers to build sensors and smart straps that connect directly to the watch. Much more on this coming soon!
-from the Pebble Time Kickstarter Page.
Pebble today put its first color-screen smartwatch on sale on Kickstarter – and raised $5.4m from 26,000 backers in just a few hours. The startup's Pebble Time quickly blew through its rather modest fundraising goal of $500,000. The biz sold out of $159-priced watches, although you can still order one for $179, two for $338, …
from my experience of being a v1 kickstarter. i did have issues with my original hardware. they sent me a new one, no problems since.
They have some of the best after sales customer service i have experienced. Might take a while to get things done, because of the massive volumes they are dealing with, but it gets done.
I thought the whole idea of crowd funding sites was to help give those with fresh ideas and limited resources a bit of cash to develop a truly innovative product. Surely this new watch is just the latest iteration in Pebble's lineup, that stretches back to 2008?
I guess Kickstarter are OK with companies using them as what amounts to another sales channel, just as long as they get their cut.
There is nothing in the Kickstarter rules to prohibit an established company using it.
Just because a company has sold a previous generation of product to happy customers doesn't mean that the company has the cash flow to tool up for a new product - so the idea of gauging interest and acquiring cash on crowd-funding sites before making a big investment in manufacturing still holds.
Like clockwork, this complaint comes up with any Kickstarter. Be it from a company who has another product out there, an artist who wants to support a side project, or some other "how dare they!" group.
Here's the reality: Kickstarter was never solely for charity cases who were reduced to Oliver levels of begging for more gruel. It has always been for-profit. In fact, I believe Kickstarter strictly forbids any kind of non-profit or charitable projects; there are other sites for that.
Kickstarter is in the business of helping people or companies get the word out for a risky or unlikely-to-find-traditional-funding project that will almost certainly be commercial in nature. Yes, it can help struggling artists find their money muse, but almost all the success stories on Kickstarter that create eye-watering figures come from people who are or were established players. Reading through the most-funded list will quickly reveal a pattern: People or companies who knew what they were doing.
The problem with bank or VC funding is that they want a huge possible market, even if it never materializes. VCs take it a bit further and also demand a share in the profits and/or company that comes from it. And if they get the vast percentage of the company, they can quickly and easily force the inventor or project team out the door the moment things turn from dicey to profitable. Kickstarter gets around this by explicitly stating that backers only get what is outlined in the rewards and are not entitled to any share of the profits, revenue, company, etc.
So while it might offend your sensibilities, there are tens of thousands of people who want a specific product, but that's not enough to make someone stand-up and take notice at the bank. A yawn and a kick in the ass is all you would get from them; this way, that extremely small number of people will be the market, and if things go really well, you might be able to sell a million.
Eink itself, the trademarked thing from the specific company, is explicitly opaque and reflective. A back light wouldn't be visible because the screen is in the way, like putting a back light behind a piece of cardboard. Readers like the Kindle Paperwhite are front-lit. Wikipedia's entry on electronic paper (yes, yes, I know) explicitly contrasts it with back-lit displays.
So does anybody have an educated guess as to what sort of display we're talking about here?
Yes, like I said, Wikipedia's entry on electronic paper contrasts it with back-lit displays. Normal terminology considers any sort of LCD to be an entirely different thing from electronic paper. A functional difference being that electronic paper benefits from increased external light, back-lit LCDs suffer from it, outdoors daylight usually subtracting significantly from the perceived contrast and gamut of the latter.
So I guess they're just playing fast and loose with the terminology.
It's a technology from Sharp which uses a line addressable display, and some sort of memory solution that means it uses 15uA when static.
As for readability the original pebble, based on the same technology, is fully readable in bright sunlight and indeed this helps much like it does with eInk. So they must be doing something different/right.
But how essential is it? I mean I can't imagine living without my smartphone but I'm finding it hard to believe that this device or the Apple Watch for that matter, trancends the category of 'niche non-essential gadget'.
How do people here feel about the previous version or alternatives like the Moto360?
"But how essential is it? I mean I can't imagine living without my smartphone"
How old are and how long have you had a smartphone?
The use case for the first smartphones was not really the mass market, everybody will be gagging for one. Especially when they were not all that smart at the time. For that matter, the first mobile phones were a niche market. People grew up without them so they were a nice but expensive toy in the eyes of the sort of people who nowadays can't live without them simply because society wasn't geared up to "expect" everyone to be contactable 24/7 on an instants notice.
> But how essential is it?
Few things are essential (air, water, food...), and modern consumer electronics definitely don't justify that tag.
But...as an original Pebble backer on Kickstarter, I can tell you that having a Pebble has transformed my relationship with my phone. Where previously it chirruped to tell me I had a new message, and then the question of "What message? From whom?" would nag me to fish my phone out of my pocket, only to find another piece of bacon - now, I just glance at my watch, and can then ignore it. Conversely, if it *is* an important email/text, then I'm aware straightaway, and can deal with it there and then.
I love my original Pebble so much...I've joined the new Kickstarter campaign for a Pebble Time!
I've got one of the original Pebbles, and I like it, but I don't think it's a must buy for everyone.
Firstly, I like wearing a watch, I find having to dig my phone out to look at the time takes an annoyingly long time. So if you don't currently wear a watch, then really why do you want a smart one?
Mainly what I use the 'smart' part of the Pebble for is reading my notifications, and it's surprisingly useful for that. The best way I've found of describing it is, if you've played GTA:V you'll have seen text messages pop up in the side of the screen that you can glance at, or you can get your character's phone out and read the whole thing. That's pretty much the experience of using a Pebble right there.
I can quickly read a text easily enough, but an email is easier to read on my phone (or computer), but I can get a quick idea of the gist of it, and if I need to pay attention to it or not.
As for all the apps they promote, I've not really tried them, I have no interest in replying to texts from my watch, I don't need an activity tracker (it would read 0), apparently there's a PayPal app, I have no idea what that is for.
As far as the battery goes, I get 7-8 days on average, so it's fine as long as I remember to put it on charge every week, I probably use it less than some people though, YMMV.
** edit, don't forget, that you'll need BLuetooth switched on, on your phone which will probably reduce the life there. Some people say it improves because you're not using the phone's screen as much, that's not the case for me.
I have one of the original pebbles and I think I'll skip this one. Their customer support was atrocious - to the point of being non-existent. That wouldn't have been such an issue except that they had some pretty enormous problems delivering on time, and then build quality issues, especially in the screen, when the watches finally did ship. They've replaced mine twice due to faults with the screen, and the new one has developed the same fault a third time.
It's a nice idea, and I do find myself using it, so like a smartphone, I'd miss it if I had to give it up now, but sad to say the next smartwatch I buy will not be a pebble.
I got rid of my wrist-based, easily banged up watch when cell phones came out. If I had to carry something that had the time on it, I didn't need two of the things. Happy times.
So now we have a device that lets me know if my phone is ringing (hey, I can HEAR the damn thing already, OK?), lets me know if my phone is sending out an alarm (ibid.), lets me know if my phone calendar needs attention (ibid.), and generally only tells me that I need to take my phone out to get any detailed info?
I smell... hype. Lots and lots of hype.
That or I've missed something. But looking at it more closely - I don't think I have.
Hmmm. Well of course it's personal opinion and horses for courses, but I got a Pebble steel purely for having a slightly unusual watch (so for changable faces). The notifications sort of came with it without me asking and as it turns out I find them very useful.
Unlike you I *can't* hear (nor feel) my phone, now I never miss anything, and I can take the quickest of glances at the watch to see if I need to interrupt whatever I'm doing right now, which is normally the case. The phone stays in the pocket a lot more.
As I say, I quite like the notification part, and I didn't expect that I would even use it. That said I don't think I'd go full on smartwatch. Also £200 for the tiniest extension of my phone? Maybe you're spot on given that you're not looking for a watch first and foremost.
>I got rid of my wrist-based, easily banged up watch when cell phones came out.
I still wear a watch - when my phone battery runs out, I am still able to tell the time. Phone battery last longer because I'm not using its screen to tell the time. Watch battery last years. I have an active job and I'm a clumsy sort - yet my watch doesn't get 'banged up', due to the steel bezel and sapphire crystal; I only worry about damaging it if I'm using diamond cutting discs.
That said, none of the current 'smart watches' really appeal to be, though Casio and Citizen come closer to my desired balance of function against form than others.
>I smell... hype. Lots and lots of hype. That or I've missed something. But looking at it more closely - I don't think I have.
Perform a time and motion study on how long it takes to get your phone from your pocket and unlock it, read the time, lock your phone and return it to your pocket. Ditto an incoming notification.
Socially, I don't always want a loud ring tone on my phone.
>If you're using a diamond cutting disk in a way your wristwatch is at risk, it's not the watch I'd be most worried about!!
Ha ha! It's the not the cutting disc directly, but the resulting dust with diamond particles in that can damage watch faces.
[I got rid of my wrist-based, easily banged up watch when cell phones came out. If I had to carry something that had the time on it, I didn't need two of the things. Happy times.]
Alternatively, I've always worn a watch. Horses for courses and all that.
[So now we have a device that lets me know if my phone is ringing (hey, I can HEAR the damn thing already, OK?)]
Not if it's on silent, like I have my personal phone 90% of the time I'm in the office.
[lets me know if my phone is sending out an alarm (ibid.)]
Instantly lets me know what messages/texts I have incoming.
[lets me know if my phone calendar needs attention (ibid.)]
[and generally only tells me that I need to take my phone out to get any detailed info?]
It has enough screen space to indicate the sender and subject. That's usually enough to decide if I want to action it now or later.
[I smell... hype. Lots and lots of hype.]
I smell a useful tool - one that actually puts me in charge of my phone.
[That or I've missed something. But looking at it more closely - I don't think I have.]
It might not be for you, but the kickstarter response shows that it's right for lots of people. I use mine to skip music tracks whlist driving, monitor my daily exercise, get football goal flashes, get newsflashes from RSS feeds, and tell the time.
I find my pebble so useful, that I will probably upgrade to the Colour version if the battey life is similar to the Pebble classic.
"hey, I can HEAR the damn thing already, OK?"
I like my phone on silent in the office, so my pebble steel is awesome for letting me know when I have calls or texts.
My wife carries her phone in her bag, which muffles the ringer... I got her a watch because she never picked up when I rang her... Now she does.
I don't have to carry my phone around the house with me when home, but still get the messages and even do which replies from my watch. Helps filter whether I check my phone when reading kids or pick up when walking out and about.
It wasn't so long ago smart phones were considered pointless by those who didn't have one, now most people have one... I mean, who needs a phone to check email and the web, you have a PC for that. If you're out then you shouldn't need to reply instantly anyway, that's what phone calls are for stupid. I have a smaller mp3 player for music, etc etc. I have maps for navigation and they don't direct me to the middle of lakes, etc etc etc.
One size does not fit all... One mans(or woman's) pointless device in anothers useful gadget.
"I like my phone on silent in the office, so my pebble steel is awesome for letting me know when I have calls or texts."
And in one unusual use case, I was in a home where the phone could barely pick up a signal if it was in the kitchen (the closest room to the road) and nowhere else. So I left my phone in the kitchen, and my Pebble could notify me if I had a text come in.
The big advantage of pebble that it is water resistant. My phone isn't.
When skiing or cycling (off-road) or hiking I may have a headphones on and the ability to change tracks without having to fish a smartphone out of my pocket or rucsack is great. Same goes when I get a call or message, because I can see who it is on my pebble I can then decide whether I need to reply or ignore it without having to get my phone wet or muddy.
" Same goes when I get a call or message, because I can see who it is on my pebble I can then decide whether I need to reply or ignore it without having to get my phone wet or muddy."
That assumes though that we somehow have to, or need to, respond to all communcations immediately.
When I run I enjoy that hour of solitude, I don't want it disturbed. I carry my phone in case I have a problem, twist my ankle or whatever.
My Early bird pledge went wrong, so its the regular $179 plus $10 shipping option now. Its harder to justify a $10 saving over retail as the Shop offers free worldwide shipping.
I may as well wait till my Pebble V1 dies. A 2nd time around engraved message is a nice touch but not a deal maker for me..
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