Pebble Time brings colour to smartwatch pioneers

February 26, 2015
IE

The guys from Pebble are back with a new trick up their sleeve. The new Pebble Time is set to bring colour to the smartwatch pioneers that smashed Kickstarter records and they’ve done it again; raising $1 million in funding in just 49 minutes (previously held by Android-based game console Ouya, which raised $1 million in 2 days and 19 hours).

pebble-time-1[Image Source: Pebble Time]

Ok, so colour-screened smartwatches are nothing new but what sets the Pebble Time apart from others is that they are still using an E-Ink display. It may only be able to display 64 colours compared to the millions of LCD and OLED screens but the battery life is far beyond reach of the competition – an estimated 7 days. This is crucial for a wearable device as users don’t want to have to remove the device frequently for charging (Apple’s forthcoming device will apparently need at least a daily charge).

E-Ink displays have been hugely popular in e-book readers but not much else (although the YotaPhone has incorporated one into their smartphone pretty nicely). When Pebble launched the original E-Ink display smartwatch back in 2012, it wasn’t long before the likes of Samsung and LG wanted in on the action. So could the use of a coloured E-Ink display cause another revolution? And we’re not just talking smartwatches here, imagine low-priced smartphones with week-long battery life.

pebble-time-2 pebble-time-4[Image Source: Pebble Time]

Another advantage of the Pebble is the open platform that allows users to create their own software, not to mention that the Pebble Time is already comaptible with 6,500+ existing Pebble apps.

There’s also a new built in microphone so wearers can respond quicker and easier to notifications. And you’ll also be pleased to know that they’ve “used the latest technology to maintain water resistance so you can swim or surf with Pebble Time.”

The new watch is 20% thinner than its predecessors and the standard 22mm watch band fitting means you have a plethora of options to customise your device. The quick release pin is set to allow you to change the strap within just 10 seconds – good if you want to tweak your watch to match your outfit. They even plan to freely release the 3D data of the device so customisers can create their own straps, covers and docks. As standard, the device will come with a silicone strap available in three colours.

pebble-time-3[Image Source: Pebble Time]

At the time of writing the campaign has 30 days remaining and is dawning on $9 million in raised funds (a mile away from their initial $500,000 target). You’re gunna have to be quick if you want to get in on the first shipment.

Part of the draw to Pebble’s new campaign was presumably the Early Bird deal that let the first 10,000 backers buy a Time for only $159, lower than the $199 planned retail price for the Time, and less than half of the $349 starting price that the Apple Watch will sell for beginning this April. The smartwatch battle is heating up once again.

Check out their new campaign in the video below: