Pebble, widely recognized as the creator of the modern smartwatch, has found tremendous success on Kickstarter since its first appearance in 2012. Currently, it enjoys the first and third most funded campaigns in Kickstarter history which is why the company is going back to the well once again – this time with three new products in tow.
Pebble 2 is described as a sporty, ultra-affordable smartwatch with a built-in heart rate monitor. Available in five colors (black, white, flame, aqua and lime), it utilizes a high-contrast black and white display that’s water resistant up to 30 meters. The wearable offers a full week of battery life and also packs a microphone for voice replies as well as sleep and activity tracking – all running on a new version of Pebble’s Timeline operating system.
The next step up is Time 2, essentially a premium version of Pebble 2. This model, manufactured from marine-grade stainless steel that’s offered in gold, black or silver, features a new color ePaper display that’s said to be 53 percent larger than the original. Time 2 lasts for up to 10 days on a single charge and like the Pebble 2, includes a microphone, heart rate monitor and is water resistant to a depth of 30 meters.
Pebble Core, meanwhile, is an entirely new product. This small, button-style device is designed to clip to your shirt or waistband. Through a cellular connection, it can stream music from Spotify, track pace and distance using GPS, send out an emergency SMS message and even record voice notes using a built-in microphone. Pebble says it plans to open the device up to developers for even more possibilities.
All three devices are currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. Predictably, the campaign has already blown past its $1 million funding goal with over $2.8 million pledged as of writing from more than 15,000 backers. A pledge of $99 will get you a Pebble 2 in your choice of color while the premium Time 2 starts at $169. And if it’s the Core you’re after, expect to fork over $69 for the opportunity in your choice of white or black.
Pebble’s latest campaign can only be seen as good news for both fans and the smartwatch industry in general. After an impressive few years, things seemed to turn south for Pebble as the company announced just two months ago that it was laying off a quarter of its staff, or roughly 40 employees.
Founder and CEO Eric Migicovsky said at the time that the fundraising environment in Silicon Valley was pretty tight but that they had still managed to raise $26 million over the previous eight months to keep things rolling. That, of course, is in addition to the $20 million that Pebble raised last year from its Pebble Time Kickstarter campaign.
Pebble expects to ship the Pebble 2 this September followed by the arrival of the Time 2 in November and the Pebble Core in January 2017.