Thursday, April 12, 2012

iPhone-Friendly Watch Gets $500,000 Kickstarter Funding in a Day

iPhone-Friendly Watch Gets $500,000 Kickstarter Funding in a Day

Hey iPhone users: how many times a day do you take your beloved device out of your pocket just to check the time, change the tune, check email or see who's calling? What if we wore some kind of notification device on our wrists — let's call them watches — that could connect to your iPhone to do all of the above and more? And what if it didn't cost an arm and a leg?

Smart watches aren't exactly a new notion. In the past year we've seen and reviewed several: the InPulse, the WiMM One and the oddly-named I'm Watch. But they were all powered by Android, or connected to Android smartphones only.

iPhone owners were out of luck — until Wednesday, when a new smart watch by the guy behind InPulse (Eric Migicovsky, above) hit funding site Kickstarter. Dubbed the Pebble, it's the first smart watch that can form a meaningful, long-lasting relationship with your iOS device, as well as Android.

And it's nothing if not popular. The Kickstarter campaign asked for $100,000 in funding; it got that in the first two hours. By day's end, the device had more than $500,000 in pledges.

What's so smart about the Pebble? Well, for starters, it doesn't try to reinvent the wheel. Other smart watches offer color screens as if they're trying to be a mini-smartphone. The Pebble lets your iPhone do all the heavy lifting. Its simple e-paper display — much like the original Kindle — is viewable even in direct sunlight, which is pretty necessary for a watch.

It is also releasing its software kit to developers, so they can create their own iPhone app-linking apps. Out of the box, you'll be able to see incoming emails and calls, track your run and your bike ride via your phone's GPS, as well as use your watch as a remote for the music app on your phone.

That feature alone seems worth the asking price — which, by the way, will be $149.

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