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What Makes Pebble the Most Successful Kickstarter Project Ever

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 17, 2012 11:09 AM

Pebble has set a record as the biggest crowdfunded launch in history, all for a new class of device (an e-paper watch?!) pitched to backers via its Kickstarter page. Credit the description for the chic, digital-savvy smartphone accessory:

“Pebble is the first watch built for the 21st century. It’s infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps. Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, alerting you with a silent vibration to incoming calls, emails and messages. While designing Pebble, we strove to create a minimalist yet fashionable product that seamlessly blends into everyday life.”

Pebble received $500,000 funding in a day, reaching $1 million in investments last week just 28 hours after launch on Kickstarter. By midnight Friday, the little e-paper wristwatch that could had pushed past the $1.5 million mark with 35 fund-raising days remaining. Now it has passed the $3.5 million mark.

Early investors get a discount ($115 versus $150) on Pebble Watches for iPhone and Android that use a Kindle-like e-paper for display and have a battery-life of seven days.

Pebble has caught lightning in a bottle – or in this case, a watch, increasing smartphone functionality by communicating via Bluetooth with apps like text message alerts, a GPS odometer for biking, a pedometer for running, accessing music  – and of course, the time of day – all on your wrist

With the monies raised, enhancements already include waterproofing and an open developer’s SDK for creating custom apps. The team behind it have been designing smartwatches for 3 years, starting with their first product: the inPulse smartwatch for BlackBerry.

As the Geeky Gadgets blog commented, “The awesome watch concept is opening new avenues for developers and users, bringing real-life functionality to your wrist, and just a few days after starting to raise pledges from the Kickstarter community.”

In more ways than one, Pebble's meteoric crowd-backed rise is one to watch.

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