Pebble smartwatch to start shipping on 23 January

11 Jan 2013

Perhaps Kickstarter’s greatest success story, the Pebble E-Paper Watch, will finally start shipping to almost 70,000 backers later this month, and the company is now preparing to make it available to the general public.

The Pebble smartwatch has been one of the stars of this week’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and the company behind it chose this event to announce that the gadget will start shipping on 23 January.

Backers of the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign (which set out to raise US$100,000 but raised more than US$10m) will receive the watches first, but plans are in place to start mass producing units to meet further demand.

The clever timepiece connects to Android smartphones and iPhones via Bluetooth and then alerts the wearer of incoming calls, texts or emails with a silent vibration. There’s also a range of different clock faces and customisable apps available, so users can programme their Pebbles to do what they want, such as tell the time, track their running or cycling, or control music playing on their smartphones.

Pebble has also released its SDK, meaning more apps are set to come from interested developers.

The watch face is an E-Ink screen, first made famous by the Amazon Kindle, and an accelerometer, magnetometer, ambient light sensors and an ARM processor are built in. The watch is also water-resistant, and the battery will keep it going for up to seven days.

Pre-orders of the Pebble smartwatch, priced at US$150, can be made now online.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.