Is it time for smartwatches yet? And are smartwatches something that the mass-market will be interested in?
This is a question that Pebble, Sony, Motorola and others are trying to answer. So far, the Pebble smartwatch has got a lot of attention, being the biggest project on Kickstarter ever. The figures speak for themselves – $10 million raised within a month (way beyond the initial $100,000 target) and 85,000 pre-orders.
The difference between Pebble and Sony’s Smartwatch is Sony is trying to cram the full Android experience into a 1.5-inch screen. But you can’t really enjoy playing Angry Birds on such a small screen, even though Sony has demoed that. Pebble takes a different direction and, instead of trying to replace your smartphone, they are focusing on creating more of a companion to your smartphone.
By using Bluetooth 4.0, the Pebble smartwatch can notify you about text messages, Twitter updates, e-mail messages, weather alerts, and and so on. You can also get a ton of customizable clock skins, and a whole lot more.
Ultimately, the success of the Pebble might depend on developers, and so far, it seems that many developers are interested in developing for the smartwatch. This is why the Pebble team is hurrying up to finish their SDK for Android and iPhone, months ahead of the release of the smartwatch.
At Google I/O last week, the Pebble guys launched the Android SDK with more advanced APIs that should let developers do a lot of cool stuff with the E-ink watch. The Pebble team thinks that, initially, the watch will be very popular with people who are into sports and outdoor activities, as there will be many apps that are targeted in that specific area. Plus, one of the main attractions about the Pebble smartwatch is that it’s waterproof so you can even go swimming with it, or use it in the rain without worrying about damaging it. Take a look at the video below for an interview with the founder of Pebble.