Img/2012/5/12/watch-100.jpgLondon: Scientists have developed a smart watch that can pair with the user’s phones to receive and display text messages.
Bluetooth watches, which pair with your phone to display text messages and control your music have been tried before with limited success, but when enthusiastic inventors promised to get it right if they were given enough funding to create their “Pebble” wristwatch, the Internet erupted with generosity.
The team hoped to raise 100,000 dollars in a month, but they achieved this in just hours.
Now, three weeks later, the creators have 10.1 million dollars in the bank, and 85,000 buyers waiting to receive their own watch once it rolls off the production lines.
Kickstarter works by allowing investors to put up anything from 1 dollar to thousands of dollars. Some enthusiastic fans pledged 10,000-dollar to turn the smartwatch into reality. Those who donated more than 100 dollars will get a Pebble delivered.
“Pebble is the first watch built for the 21st century,” the Daily Mail quoted its creators as saying.
“It’s infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps.
“The watch will connect via Bluetooth, and alert users to incoming messages via vibrations - and apps bring Pebble to life.
“Cyclists can use Pebble as a bike computer, accessing the GPS on your smartphone to display speed, distance and pace data.
“Runners get a similar set of data displayed on their wrist. Use the music control app to play, pause or skip tracks on your phone with the touch of a button,” they said.
It is this extensibility which attracted wannabe-customers to the Pebble - the uses can be limited only by the ingenuity of programmers.
“If you’re a golfer, feel free to bring Pebble onto the course – we’re working with Freecaddie to create a great golf rangefinder app for Pebble that works on over 25,000 courses world-wide.
“Instead of using your phone, view your current distance to the green right on your wrist. These apps will be the first, with more in the works!” they said.
The KickStarter website is often used to raise money for hi-tech ventures such as videogames, and the sums involved have risen rapidly during 2012 - but Pebble has set a new record.
Rivals such as Sony, who did try a similar range about seven years ago, just before smartphones hit the scene, are working on similar products.
LG and others have tried watches with built-in SIM cards before, but the devices have been bulky and expensive.
First Published: Saturday, May 12, 2012, 12:22