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Pebble E-paper Watch for Android Tops $3 Million in Funding on Kickstarter, Will Now Come Fully Waterproofed

If the smartwatch game has yet to impress you, then I recommend that you take a look at one of the hottest Kickstarter products we have seen in a long time called Pebble. We have been personally following Pebble for the last week or so, watching it go from having a goal of $100K, eclipsing that in a few days, and then completely blowing the hell up thanks to some press coverage and viral internet buzz. In less than a day last week, it topped $1 million from backers, then hit $2 million, and finally, over the weekend cracked the $3 million mark. Again, this project started out with a $100K goal and is now well over $3 million.

So what is the Pebble E-paper smartwatch? It sells itself a bit like the Sony Smartwatch that was released last week, but it uses an e-paper display rather than an OLED. It should last for 7+ days on a single charge, has multiple clock faces to choose from that always show, pairs with your device via Blutooth, already has a variety of apps in the works, and has an Android app to connect to your phone through.

The device will show you incoming calls, email notifications (including Gmail), weather and calendar alerts, Facebook and Twitter info, and even vibrate when many of these things happen. There is also a golf GPS tracking app in the works. Oh, and since the project hit the couple of millions mark, its makers have decided to fully waterproof the device. For those of you that swim and want to track your workout, this would be the smartwatch for you.

It should fit most 22mm watch bands.

So as you can see, it already does more than the $249 MotoActv, yet you can back the Kickstarter for $115 and receive one. If you are interested, there are 32 days left in the project to get in early. This might be the first smartwatch worth checking out.


Via:  KickStarter

  • Update: Hit $10 Million. What.

  • jamie w

    i have a smart watch and never wear it but this does look cool though i might get one just too see who knows.

  • I backed it. This is my second Kickstarter item I have backed. The first was the PadPivot.

  • it needs LTE!! ha jk. I’m on board so far. I will be on board if it doesn’t disappoint.

  • MichaelCrackMonkey


  • Jscofi

    Will it have HDMI out?????

  • Palmer Nyako

    I’ll be surprised if $115.00 for an UNKNOWN branded smart watch will sell past its niche of tech enthusiasts.
    If Apple made something like this and sold it for $49.99 it would sell like hot cakes.
    The unfortunate reality we live in of superior marketing/branding, destroying the competition.
    I’d maybe pick one up for a lower price tho.

  • I kind of like the idea of reading incoming texts during a meeting/class from a watch while my phone is in my pocket.  Also when I ride my bike, I can put my phone in my backpack and have music controls on this.

  • saimin

    I agree that this is not in the same league as the Motoactv, which is designed to be used independently of your phone. The Motoactv has its own GPS, for example. Competitors to the Motoactv are the Garmin Forerunner sports watches (very popular with runners and hikers).

    The Pebble is more like the Sony LiveView which needs to be connected to your phone at all times (via Bluetooth) to do anything interesting.

  • L.L.

    I’m glad you posted this; I’ve been following (and backed) this project because I love the thought of a bluetooth watch and this looks like it has a lot of potential.  That being said, I’m gonna have to agree with some of the posters here in that isn’t on par with MOTOACTV at all.  The MOTOACTV has more features and is also a standalone product.  This one is great for what it’s being touted first and foremost as; an accessory watch for your cell phone.  But it can’t be used for anything else but timekeeping without it.  The great thing about my MOTOACTV is that I can take it out while biking and leave the phone at home and it’ll track all my workout metrics, even making a map of my route which I can sync up with my account once I get home.  No phone needed.  This won’t be able to do any of that.  Still, it’s a great concept, and something I wish more companies were producing.

  • My phone battery is already bad enough. Dont need something else to kill the phone even faster.

  • These watches are hideous….Maybe if Breitling made one I’d cop one…..

  • Michael_NM

    I don’t have time for watches.

    • Some Random Dude

      i see watchu did there!

  • what a waste of money….

  • Higher_Ground

    I tend to agree, this may be the fist smarthwatch worth looking into.

    They’ve managed to figure out one of two things I’d like.  First, they figured out how to make it so you only need to charge it sparingly.  What I’d like to see next is a way for the device to “fall-back” to a standard digital watch face when the battery died, using a back-up watch battery or maybe even figure out how to emply the eco-drive in Citizen watches.
    I’d like to know that it will potentially last forever, even as a dumb-watch that needs replacement batteries on occasion.

  • Labam88

    Cool idea but I don’t want to have to charge my watch every few days.

  • This is one of the coolest devices that I won’t buy.

  • What would the purpose of waterproofing this device be if my phone isn’t waterproof? 😛

    • MarkyMark

      Umm it can do some things without a phone, like display time….

    • T4rd

       I hope that’s not a serious question :p.  It’s not like the watch has to be synced to your phone 24/7 to be functional.

    • i donno, do you ever wash your hands/

    • When you swim in a pool, aren’t you generally within bluetooth range of your phone, towel and shoes?

      • Marc

        Bluetooth doesn’t penetrate water does it?

        • Huh. Hadn’t thought of that, and never tried it. 

          According to this (scroll to the bottom), it does work. http://www.justanswer.com/computer-networking/6ax6j-does-bluetooth-work-water.html

    • gfmech

      Actually the way I would use this would be for running – I keep my phone in a waterproof running bag.  Right now I just use it to take calls and record the run to review afterwards.  With the Pebble I could wear it on my wrist without it getting sweaty and check mile splits.  Definitely a minor thing, but kinda cool for how cheap the watch is supposed to be.

    • PuzzleShot

      you don’t have to bother to take if off if you’re walking in the rain, washing clothes or dishes, taking a bath or shower, having a water gun fight, etc.

    • saimin

      Keep the phone inside your waterproof jacket and just control it with your waterproof watch when it is raining.

  • Maybskinates

    I actually like the look and potential of this. But as a consumer all I want is something like an ipod shuffle except that it connects to google cloud music storage. I still use my like lowest storage shuffle for every single run and workout. The thing will not break. It went through the wash twice spent the night on the ground in a rain puddle and was stepped on enough to bend the back clip. It will works and syncs perfectly like years later. It also costs ~5 dollars to replace online. If Google is serious about this music and media venture, I feel like it would make sense for them to put out some sort of competitively priced media device. If they were to produce something with only the most basic functions (namely sync to the music cloud) at a size/weight comparable to the shuffle I would be all over that

  • MKader17

    Really awesome idea.

    The only big advantage that the MotoActv has is that the MotoActv has its own GPS where as this device will have to use your phone’s GPS. This really is only a problem for me for running as I don’t like having my phone with my while running.

    Other that that I would consider getting one. They are very sleek looking.

  • AndrewScottRox

    I don’t necessarily think that it trumps the Motoactv. The Moto is a pretty dang versatile device with onboard storage and can sync with external sensors like a heart rate monitor. Plus, it syncs with their website for tracking metrics. With that being said, I backed this project for everyday use.  

  • BSweetness

    “So as you can see, it already does more than the $249 MotoActv”

    The fact that you have to have your smartphone within Bluetooth range at all times (and in many cases right with you) to take advantage of anything besides the clock – music, GPS, workout programs, calculating statistics – means this doesn’t do more than the MotoActv.  It means your phone does more than the MotoActv.  But we already knew that.  

    This is a Bluetooth watch that can stream information from your phone.  The MotoActv is a standalone device.  This is definitely cool for what it is, but it’s not even close to being in the same league as the MotoActv, which can do everything, short of receiving phone notifications, completely on its own.

    • GQGK

      You misread. This is also a stand alone device that can also stream information from your phone. It doesn’t do some stuff the active does, but it seems to do a lot of other stuff better.

      • BSweetness

        I misread? As a standalone device, it can perform the functions of a regular watch.  A smartphone is required for anything else.   That means anything it does outside of watch functions requires a smartphone.  This just displays what your phone sends it.  So this device itself does nothing better than the MotoActv.  It’s your phone that does all of the work.  This just shows some of it to you on your wrist. I’m pretty sure I read it all correctly here and on the site for the device.

        The way Kellex wrote that line – “So as you can see, it already does more than the $249 MotoActv” – makes this device sound like it has all of the features of the MotoActv, which is incredibly misleading.  With this device, you can have all of the features of the MotoActv as long as you have your phone with you and are connected to it.  The device itself has none of the features. The MotoActv can do everything completely on its own without the need for a smartphone (unless you want notifications and calls to come through).

        I’m not saying this isn’t a cool device, because it is. It’s just very misleading, boarding on lying, to say it has more features than the MotoActv at a lower price point. The MotoActv is priced a higher because it has built-in GPS, flash memory, programs, and sensors. This has none of those things built-in.

        • sam

          I agree. This isn’t at all the same as the motoactv. This is a watch the motoactv is a fitness tool.

    • Bill Anderson

      I see the MotoACTV competing with the Garmin Forerunner and the likes. My Forerunner sits in some drawer in my house now that I use Run Keeper for all my fitness tracking. This is a more useful device in general, as while it will make Run Keeper much easier to use, goes beyond the Fitness market. Sure, the MotoACTV can show Caller ID and SMS messages, but with an 8 hour battery life, you are only going to use it while working out. With a 7 day battery life, the Pebble can be used for a lot more, hence the “it already does more than the $249 MotoACTV” comment…

      • BSweetness

        While the battery life might be longer, and the uses might be more diverse, it still doesn’t make the statement any less misleading or any more accurate.  The Pebble does not do more than the MotoActv.  A smartphone does more and the Pebble displays some of that information.

        But I think part of what you’re getting at is correct. They’re devices aimed at different markets. The MotoActv is more for hardcore fitness people, and the Pebble is for non-fitness/casual fitness people. I wouldn’t say the Pebble is more useful in the slightest, but it will have wider appeal.

  • Travisoakshott

    What’s the memory size of this device? I’m guessing you won’t be able listen to music off of this device like the motoactv, but still a great device nonetheless.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    love the idea

    hmm…. the circle clock is cut off at the 2:45 time.. that’s not good design.

    • Michael_NM

      And 9:15

  • Personally can’t stand the idea of Bluetooth pairing to ANY device ALL DAY.
    Seems like a major battery waster.

    Cool, though.
    And props to them for making their goal.

    • I keep my Motoactv paired with my phone all day and notice no difference in battery usage really. Bluetooth shows about 4% of battery use on my phone. Also, I don’t know why people think the Motoactv has such bad battery life. I get about 3-4 days out of mine before I need to charge it, and it’s not a fluke because I upgraded from the 8GB to the 16GB and my 8GB had the same life.

    • It’s BT v.4 so it uses next to nothing for battery. According to wikipedia classic BT to BT 4.0 “using 1 as a reference, battery use on 4.0 is 0.01-0.5” 

      So, battery life on V4 compared to 2.1 is at the very least twice as good.

  • Just no.

  • Robhimself79

    I funded this before the 1million mark. I don’t think I will see this watch for a looooong time. Amazing project I’m glad they opened it up for android and iOS at once. Forward thinking is what made this so successful.

    • I think they are telling people September? But yeah I agree, seems like we won’t see it for longer now with all these backers.

      • think it might be the opposite. having to produce so many will probably get them in the door with some major manufacturers and open up for a better rate. (maybe) I know a lot of times when working with printers, wholesellers, and auto parts that the more you order, the better rate you get. 

        Perhaps having all this extra money and orders to fill won’t get in the way to a timely delivery if they’re smart enough to bring on more experienced people for the distribution portion.

        • Paradisimo

          I do a fair amount of importing and as a general rule of thumb you need to provide approximately 60 days for production (regardless of quantity) and 30 days for the shipment to get here by boat.  When you figure that they have 32 days left on the presale then this would likely put the ETA of the shipment (to them) around late-August.  I would probably give them another 30 days to coordinate getting the individual shipments so I think mid-late September is a pretty realistic target.