Pebble has raised almost $9 million in a single day on crowd-funding web site Kickstarter to pay for development of its second generation of smart watches.
By February 25, over 40,000 supporters had pledged more than $8.7 million, despite the target for funding being set at just $500,000.
The first Pebble was also financed using Kickstarter, and raised over $10 million in 2012.
“This is where it all started. Three years ago you supported our vision to make the world’s first real smart watch. The Kickstarter community and our early adopters believed in us before anyone else even knew we existed. You blew us away with your support and kicked off a worldwide movement,” the company says on its Kickstarter funding page.
Although tens of thousands of backers have committed $159-179 each for a chance to buy one watch when they launch in May, trade buyers may be more interested in taking a punt for larger amounts.
For $1690, a funder will secure 10 Pebble Time watches in any of the 3 colours. $5,000 will bag 30 watches.
The next generation of Pebbles, named Pebble Time, will use colour e-paper with up to 7 days of battery. The main feature upgrade will be a new timeline interface, but it will also be compatible with all 6500 apps that have already been created for the first generation of watches.
The colour e-paper screen is a significant differentiator to products created by the mobile phone giants Samsung, LG and Apple, and is the reason Pebble can promise a full week of battery life between charges.
Pebble Time is curved to fit the wrist better, and it is thinner than its predecessor, although at 9.5mm it is still chunky. It comes in three colours – black, white and red – and is offered with a range of silicone straps that can be swapped easily thanks to a quick-release mechanism.
The timeline interface has been created to make information and functions easier to find, the company states.
“While developing software for the original Pebble, we uncovered an important problem: apps are an inefficient way to interact with a smart watch. As we increased functionality by adding more apps, our Pebbles clogged up. It became harder to quickly find the app we wanted,” it describes.
With the timeline interface, notifications, news, reminders and events are laid out chronologically instead of being trapped inside separate apps.
“To make Pebble infinitely more useful, we needed an expandable system for organising information and interactions. It turns out the best interface for any watch…is time,” Pebble explains.