Putting an end to speculations, Pebble Technology Corporation used the popular Kickstarter fund raising platform to launch its new Time smartwear on Tuesday.
Pebble was in the news for quite some time as rumors about the company releasing a brand new smartwatch had been doing the rounds.
Authenticating the rumours, Pebble announced its new smartwatch, called Time. The new watch is the company's first wearable device that flaunts a colour screen. So far, Pebble had only used greyscale screens in its smartwatches.
Nonetheless, the panel on the new Time smartwatch from Pebble remains e-screen, which should also give it a better battery life compared to other smartwatches in the market that predominantly use LCD or AMOLED panels. Also, this comes after a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign that saw the launch of the original Pebble e-ink smartwatch.
For the time being, Pebble is selling its Time smartwatch on Kickstarter, a website that permits start-ups to raise money for new projects. Similarly, Pebble was hoping to raise half a million dollars for Time in 30 days. However, in several hours after it put up the project on Kickstarter, the timepiece had raised over $7 million.
The Pebble Time campaign appeared on Kickstarter on Tuesday, and crossed its goal of $500,000 (over Rs 3 crore) in just half an hour. The campaign will be accepting funding until 28 March. In fact, if you visit the page, you can see the numbers rising continuously. Just about 12 hours after the project was launched, the funding has neared $7.5 million (nearly Rs 47 crore).
Moreover, Kickstarter tracking site Kicktraq currently predicts a total of $231 million (approximately Rs 1400 crore) for the project at the current rate of funding, though it is expected to drop sharply once the excitement fades away. Kickstarter describes Time as, "Color e-paper smartwatch with up to 7 days of battery and a new timeline interface that highlights what's important in your day."
Similar to other smartwatches, Pebble Time will allow users to access notifications, check physical activity and get a quick look at information like upcoming calendar events via the watch screen. Pebble has also confirmed that the watch will support over 6,000 Pebble-specific apps that developers have created so far.
Pebble Time is also expected to support Android and iOS; and thus, will be compatible with any device running on either of the two operating systems mentioned above. Apart from that, the watch comes with a new, sort of a linear interface it calls "timeline", and is somewhat similar to Google Now's cards.
Another new addition to the mix is a microphone, meant for responding to notifications. Combined with the wearable's e-paper screen and water-resistant nature, these features easily bring the Pebble Time closer to the likes of Google's Android Wear devices, while still offering a huge edge in terms of the overall battery life (expected to last a week between charges).
As decided, Pebble will first start shipping Time to its Kickstarter faithful, before the smartwatch reaches retail. You can get a unit for $179 (around Rs 11,000) as the low-priced ones ($159 or around Rs. 9,800) are all gone, and the regular retail price will be $20 more. Pebble is expected to start shipping worldwide this May.