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Pebble Time hits Kickstarter, bringing voice dictation and color e-paper display
Last week, Pebble’s website began counting down to … something. While we didn’t initially know exactly what the announcement would be, it seemed pretty likely that we’d finally see a true successor to the Pebble. Just yesterday we saw a leaked image of this alleged device, and now it is official.
Going by the name of Pebble Time, the latest watch has now arrived on Kickstarter, the place where it all began for the smartwatch-making company. Pebble has already surpassed its funding goal of $500,000 with 4,722 backers and a total amount of $838,445 at the time of this writing. That’s impressive considering Pebble Time’s listing went live less than an hour ago (in fact, the goal was reportedly surpassed during the first 15 minutes or so that the listing went live)!
Not even an hour in, Pebble has already surpassed its funding goal
The Pebble Time is a complete overhaul of the original’s design, and whether it is better or worse looking probably is a matter for debate. The design may be different, but it’s still an all-button affair, no touchscreen here. As for what’s new outside of aesthetics? The watch now has a color e-paper display with Gorilla glass for extra protection, a new quick release feature for the strap making it easy to swap out bands, a special smart accessory port for add-on sensors, and an updated OS that adds several improvements while still offering up compatibility with all 6,500+ existing Pebble apps and watchfaces. That’s not all though.
Probably one of the biggest changes outside of getting color, the Pebble Time can take voice dictation through its built-in microphone. With Pebble recently bringing Android Wear app support to the Pebble platform, this is an important addition that means you can now send voice replies for SMS, Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, Gmail, WhatsApp and many other apps — at least if you’re on Android. For iOS users, the voice reply feature is limited to Gmail notifications.
Pebble Time is only available through Kickstarter right now with an estimated arrival of May 2015, priced at just $159 to early backers. There’s currently 1,516 spots left up for this reward level. After that, you’ll have to pay at least $179 to get the watch. For those wondering, the final retail price will be $199. The Pebble Time works with Android 4.0+ or higher, and for iOS users you’ll need version 8 and an iPhone 4S and above.
For more details on the Pebble Time, be sure to check out their official Kickstarter page.