Feeds

It's all in the wrist: E-ink smartwatch Pebble bags $2m

Upstart wanted just $100k, clocked much more

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A group of people who designed an e-ink watch and were looking for $100,000 to fund its production raised that in a couple of hours – and they're now well on their way to having $2m to spend.

The "Pebble" watch comes from the team that created the smartphone-on-a-watch inPulse. The Pebble is a smaller version of that product, with the addition of an e-ink screen, and it's already at the prototype stage. The team wanted $100,000 to fund a production run, but the unexpected deluge of money has already allowed them to waterproof the final device and should speed things up.

The new watch uses an e-ink screen, so is readable in direct sunlight and consumes very little power, but it’s the Bluetooth connectivity and SDK which has attracted most interest with the "Hacker Special" pack (offering early access to the SDK for those pledging more than $235) selling out particularly quickly as fans salivate at the imagined functionality.

The nearest competitor to the Pebble is probably Motorola's Motoactv, though the latter is an Android device capable of decoding MP3 files and streaming music to a Bluetooth headset as well as interacting with a mobile phone, while the Pebble is just a client device displaying what the mobile phone tells it to.

The Pebble should be cheaper, a little over $100 – though the price isn't set – while the Motoactv will set you back around twice that ($197), but the Motoactv has a touch screen and will run Angry Birds (and, perhaps more usefully, Google Maps). Both claim a battery life of more than a week, and both are promising an active developer community taking the hardware beyond its inception.

But to read the time on a Motoactv, one has to flick one's wrist, and at 35g and almost a centimetre thick, one will need a decent wrist to do so. The Pebble is thinner, both in width and depth, and the e-ink screen is always on, so perhaps the comparison isn't fair.

What's most interesting is how the Pebble has captured the imagination, and thus the pockets, of its backers. The idea is to get the watch into production later this year, and with $2m available that shouldn't be a problem, but probably even more valuable is the amount of interest the fundraising has attracted, assuming that turns into applications once the hardware is available. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.