Pebble E-Paper Watch – The $5 million idea!
Meet Pebble, the watch that will change the face of the watches forever! Not only that, it will change it’s own face, whenever you tell it to.
E-paper is nothing new, it has been used in Amazon’s Kindle eBook reader since 2007, mobile phones, USB drives, digital photo frames and even other watches (though the Seiko Spectrum SVRD001 would set you back nearly £2,000!). So, what is it that makes the Pebble revolutionary? There’s a number of things, not least the way they have approached this project. Unable to secure funding through the traditional venture capital route they did what any self-respecting entrepreneur does these days… put their virtual cup out and started their virtual busking! It just so happens though that when the cup has the potential to have money thrown in from the far reaches of the Internet, making money with a great idea (and prototype) isn’t that difficult.
Kickstarter was the platform they chose, a crowdsourcing site which allows people to donate to projects people post on the site, often receiving something for their donation, in this case they will provide a watch or ten to the investors depending on their level of investment. You can see their project here, with a live count of their donations received. To date the Pebble is the highest funded project on Kickstarter, with over $5.4 million donated and raising their first $1 million in just 28 hours. Donations show no sign of slowing down either, and with 28 days to go I wouldn’t be surprised if they top $10 million as people now use it as a pre-order system!
The reason for their success isn’t hard to see, they have made a watch that really should be a game-changer. Pebble includes Bluetooth which allows you to pair it with your iPhone or Android-based smartphone and once this is done you can do all kinds of useful things, have it act as a caller display for screening calls, make it vibrate when an email is received and partially display it, use it as a running/cycling monitor showing your speed and distance using the smartphone GPS. It can act as a remote for your music player too, it’s waterproof and comes with an SDK so developers can write new apps increasing the functionality even further. Did I mention it even tells the time?!
I have to confess to being quite excited about this myself and the biggest question for me is if I can resist “investing”. Ok… who am I kidding, the biggest question is what colour should I go for!