Pebble Watch Raises $9 Million On Kickstarter

Developer reaches $100,000 target in just two hours

A watch that can display smartphone notifications, run apps and browse the Internet has become the most funded project in the history of Kickstarter.

The Pebble smartwatch features a 1.26″ e-paper screen, similar to the type used in e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle. Besides keeping time, the little gadget is capable of connecting to an Android or iOS smartphone via Bluetooth, and running a variety of apps.

Pebble has raised more than $9 million (£5.6m) since the launch of the campaign on 11 April, and  is estimated to reach $10 million by the time the funding period is over.

Smarter watch

The device can show the time using hundreds of downloadable watchfaces on its 144×168 pixel screen, but after connecting to a smartphone via Bluetooth, Pebble can run apps that can transform it into a bike computer, runner’s watch, MP3 player remote control, golf rangefinder, and more.

Pebble can also display texts or e-mails, calendar reminders or a shopping list. It features an in-built vibrator, accelerometer, backlight and four buttons that can be used by apps, presenting plenty of possibilities for would-be developers. The expected price tag is $115 (£71).

Pebble was the brainchild of Eric Migicovsky, 25, who turned to Kickstarter to get additional financing for his project. The initial plan was to raise $100,000 (£62,000) in total, but this target was achieved in jut two hours and 28 hours later, Migicovsky had raised $1 million (£620,000). The project has since raised $9 million, with 59,866 backers supporting it, and there are still 10 days to go until the funding period is over.

“We had a factory in San Jose ready to make about 1,000 Pebbles if we were able to raise the initial funding,” Migicovsky told the Guardian. “Right now we’ve got 56,000 who have pledged money. People have ordered anywhere between two and 100 each. In all, we’re going to make more than 67,000.”

The success of the project will rely in large part on the community of developers that have expressed their interest in populating the Pebble watch app store. Interested parties can download the Pebble SDK.

The first Pebbles will start arriving from China sometime in September. You can see the smartwatch in action below:

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