Pebble ‘smartwatch’ hits $10-million goal early, limits pre-orders
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It was the most-funded project in Kickstarter’s history. Now, the Pebble “smartwatch” has broken new ground after developers announced they were limiting Pebble pre-orders after reaching their $10-million goal more than a week early.
The Pebble team, a California-based startup called Allerta and founded by University of Waterloo grad Eric Migicovsky, announced on its Kickstarter page earlier this week that the number of Pebble pre-orders had been capped at 85,000.
With eight days left in their fundraising drive, the Pebble saw total of 66,390 backers had contributed $10,165,924 to the project as of Thursday morning. A total of 31 of the 66,390 people pledged $10,000 or more to the project, in return for 100 pre-ordered watches expected to be delivered to each top donor this September.
Interested backers can still pledge $1 or more to the project, but pledges that include pre-ordered Pebbles have been sold out.
The Pebble — a watch that syncs with Androids and iPhones — was launched in early April on Kickstarter, a crowd-sourced website that allows people to appeal to the public for funding for a wide range of products. It quickly became the most-funded project in Kickstarter’s history, hitting $1 million in 28 hours and surpassing the $3.8 million mark in less than a week.
“It’s a product that people all over the world want to wear,” Migicovsky told the Star in late April. “They want to use it on their wrist and they want to use it on a daily basis. It’s very cool.”
The slim and water-resistant watch, equipped with electronic paper technology, uses Bluetooth technology to connect to smartphones, alerting the watch-wearer to all incoming calls, emails and messages with a silent vibration.
It’s also customizable — so cyclists, runners and others can download specialized applications that allow them to tailor the watch’s settings to suit their needs. Golfers, for example, can download a GPS range finder app for easy access to course information.
The Pebble team announced earlier this week that the watch will be capable with low-powered Bluetooth 4.0 — and according to the team, Pebbles will “eventually” be available for sale for $150 USD on www.getpebble.com.