Pebble Smartwatch – Wearable Computing

Pebble Watch

I backed Allerta’s Pebble watch Kickstarter project yesterday; this is the second Kickstarter project I’ve backed. The Pebble e-paper watch extends your iOS or Android powered smartphone by connecting to it via Bluetooth; once connected (paired), Pebble can display notifications sent from your phone (calls, text messages (Android only), alerts, etc.), act as a music player remote control, and a whole lot more.

Pebble features an ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller, a 1.26-inch 144×168-pixel black and white e-paper display with backlight, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, four buttons, a vibrating motor, a three-axis accelerometer, and a scratch and shatter resistant lens. The battery is expected to last more than seven days on a charge, and it’s water resistant to boot.

Eric Migicovsky, Allerta’s founder, has been developing smartwatches for three years. inPulse, Pebble’s younger sibling, worked originally with Blackberry phones but was upgraded to work with some Android phones. inPulse has been popular despite some serious limitations, i.e. you could only install and use one App at a time.  Pebble will have an App switcher built in so core functionality like notifications and the music player remote control can remain available even while an App is in use. To support this, Allerta added the ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller and 8 times more Flash memory and 12 times more RAM than inPulse.

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on my Pebble watch this Summer or Fall. I think wearable computing is going to be a big deal in the future, and I can see the use cases for Pebble in my life today. And a big congratulations to Eric and his team, they cleared $3M in backing today, on a goal of $100,000 – I’d say that’s a pretty good indicator that wearable computing has a future. @pebblewatch

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