Pebble has announced the third smartwatch in the range, called the Pebble Time. The smartwatch has been released first on Kickstarter and raised over $5m in just a few hours.
Announcing the news with a Kickstarter campaign, Pebble is returning to its old roots to make a break in the market, to try and stay relevant in the smartwatch market against Apple Watch and Android Wear.
Pebble Time is the first smartwatch from the wearables startup to feature full color, but it is an e-paper display. This has upsides and downsides, the upside is it will remain alive for over a week without a need to charge, the downside is e-paper tends to be low-resolution and slow to respond.
The new design features a stainless steel bezel and Gorilla Glass on the front of the screen, making it water resistant and durable in all types of terrain. Pebble will be offering a range of 22mm bands for the Pebble Time, allowing users to easily customise the watch strap.
On the software, Pebble has made big improvements with the launch of Timeline. The three buttons on the side can now control the past, present and future in the Timeline, allowing users to check past football results, present weather and future events all in one place.
This confined platform for reading all notifications makes it a lot easier to view and interact with the Pebble Time, compared to previously when the user had to dig into the notifications menu to find the right message.
Users can also respond to notifications through a built-in microphone. For Android almost all apps are supported. On iOS only Gmail currently supports the push replies from the smartwatch.
Over 6,500 apps are available on Pebble OS, the dedicated operating system for the smartwatch. Pebble did not discuss any new fitness or health sensors on the smartwatch, meaning it is still focused on notification management.
Pebble Time will be available in three colors: black, white and red on Kickstarter. It is available for $179 (early birds have already run out) and looks to be completely sold out by this time next week, gaining over $5 million in funding in under 24 hours.
It is the fastest Kickstarter ever and shows the dedication of fans to pick up the new Pebble smartwatch. The team estimates it will start production in April and will start shipping to backers in May.
SOURCE: Pebble Time Kickstarter