What’s the Latest Development?
Eric Migicovsky, the man behind the much-anticipated Pebble smartwatch, announced at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show that units will finally begin rolling out to initial backers later this month, after development setbacks caused the company to miss the original scheduled release date last fall. Migicovsky said that mass production will begin at a rate of 15,000 units per week, and should be generally available for $149 (according to the company Web site) in about six to eight weeks.
What’s the Big Idea?
Smartwatches have been around for a while now, but Pebble has distinguished itself for several reasons. In addition to simply telling the time, it can display a variety of apps, and its e-ink display and backlight means it’s readable just about anywhere. Users can also control smartphone functions from the watch, such as music playback. What really sets the Pebble apart is the unprecedented level of public interest: When its Kickstarter funding campaign launched last spring, the initial request was for $100,000. By the end of the 38-day campaign, it had raised $10 million, making it the most successful project on that platform to date.
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