Good news for anyone who backed the Pebble smartwatch on Kickstarter: after months of delays, the Pebble is FINALLY shipping out on the 23rd of January (on a first-comes-first-served for backers basis). Thank Jesus, I was getting a bit bored of waiting.
For those unfortunates not in the know, Pebble was a Kickstarter project for an e-ink smartwatch that blew through Kickstarter records (until Ouya at least). Packing a backlit e-ink screen (144x168px), vibrating motor and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity inside a waterproof body, it’s essentially meant to be a little remote control for your smartphone that lives on your wrist. Pre-orders are open now for £110, with orders placed right this second slated for a late February ship.
Other new details: it’s been confirmed that the Pebble will be waterproof, but with the trade-off of a proprietary charging USB cable. There’s also an ambient light sensor to allow for future upgrades to leverage it — something they promise will happen. (If anyone can come up with a good use for an ambient light sensor on this thing, you’re a cleverer man than me.) At launch, there’ll be support for Android 2.3.3+ and iOS — no love for WP8 or BB10 sadly.
When it ships, it looks like there should be a laundry-list of neat-looking watch faces to choose from, from classic, to text and even binary. The music control app, one of the central functions, looks extremely slick and responsive. Other functions include integration with ‘ifthisthenthat‘, a website that’ll push notifications to your watch if a pre-programmed event happens — for example, if it starts snowing in your favourite ski resort, you’ll get a handy little pop-up telling you it’s time to go hit the slopes.
Another feature they’re touting is gesture control using the in-built accelerometer — the example they used was flicking your wrist to turn the backlight on. For anyone who’s ever shared my pain of trying to see the time in the dark, this is awesome and totally worth £110 all by itself.
Overall, I’m deeply psyched, having been a back of this project from day one. Given how intrusive phones have got in our lives, it’ll be nice to be able to check notifications by glancing at your wrist rather than having to yank a giant 5″ behemoth out just to see who commented on your Facebook post. It’s also a victory for Kickstarter — albeit a bit late, possibly the most talked-about Kickstarter project is finally making it to market. [Pebble]