Pebble Time smartwatch breaks Kickstarter records with $2m funding in one hour
News: a new smartwatch from Pebble that promises seven days of battery life has reached its $500,000 Kickstarter goal in less than 20 minutes.
A follow-up to the original Pebble watch, Pebble Time incorporates a colour e-paper display more akin to an e-book reader than the LCD or OLED screens typically found on smartphones. The company says this will allow the watch to deliver up to seven days of battery life – outpacing its nearest competitors by days.
The watch is designed to be water-resistant, customisable, and to work with thousands of existing apps created for the original Pebble. It will also include a new interface that organises app features by time.
Unlike other recently announced smartwatches such as the Apple Watch, the Pebble Time eschews a touchscreen and instead features three minimal buttons next to the face. The device will also include a microphone for dictation and a built-in accelerometer for measuring fitness and exercise.
The crowdfunding campaign went live this afternoon and reached its $500,000 (£320,000) funding goal in 17 minutes, doubling to $1 million (£650,000) in 30 minutes and $2 million (£1.3 million) by the end of its first hour – with 31 days still to go. The Veronica Mars Movie Project previously held the record for reaching $1 million in funding the fastest at five hours.
According to the team at Pebble, the Pebble Time is – first and foremost – a watch.
"At its heart, Pebble Time is an awesome watch," the company said in a statement on its Kickstarter page. "The new colour e-paper display is easy to read and always-on. Compared with display technology like LCD or OLED, power consumption is minimised, enabling Pebble Time to achieve an industry-leading battery life of up to seven days."
Pebble also plans to publish 3D data so anyone can create their own straps, covers and docks for the device. The smartwatch will be compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones, making it an unusual entrant to the market as most devices are locked in to one operating system.
The company first made waves on Kickstarter with its original smartwatch, which broke records at the time as the most-funded project on the website.
It was among the earliest of the high-profile smartwatches, but has since been joined by tech giant Apple and companies using Google's Android Wear operating system for watches.
"We have so much gratitude for our community and the support they've given us, from the first Pebble Kickstarter campaign to today," said Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky.
At time of publishing, funding had surpassed $4.3 million (£2.8 million).