As rumors surrounding Apple’s (AAPL) supposed “iWatch” continue to swirl, one market research firm believes the fitness watch industry will see explosive growth this year even without an offering from Apple. ABI Research recently released a new report stating that the “GPS fitness watch” market will balloon in 2013 as sales reach $1.07 billion this year. The figure would represent 50% growth by ABI’s estimates. More →
The Pebble smartwatch has been a great success story for a small startup that launched a Kickstarter campaign last year. Pebble ended up breaking records when it raised more than $10 million on the crowd-funding site and it finally began shipping to customers late last month. The smartwatch features some nice iPhone integration out of the box, but a new jailbreak hack released by developer Conrad Kramer allows all notifications to be displayed on the watch’s E Ink screen instead of just notifications for native Apple (AAPL) apps like Messages, Mail and Phone, and a few third-party apps. The “BTNotificationEnabler” tweak is available right now for free in Cydia, the jailbreak equivalent of Apple’s App Store.
The Kickstarter-backed Pebble smartwatch was originally scheduled to ship out to customers in September. The device, which can display and interact with apps on Android and iPhone smartphones, raised more than $10 million and received an overwhelming number of pre-orders, forcing the company to stray away from its originally planned schedule. At the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday, CEO Eric Migicovsky announced that the first batch of Pebble smartwatches will be shipped on January 23rd to its more than 65,000 Kickstarter backers. The company expects to have Pebble in the hands of all backers within 6 to 8 weeks. Migicovsky also revealed that the team has added a variety of goodies to the watch, such as a magnetometer and ambient light sensor.
The Pebble smartwatch has had a tremendous journey over the past three weeks. Not even a week after its announcement, the watch became the most funded project in the history of crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter. Eric Migicovsky, the company’s founder, and his team have since doubled in size from five employees to 10 and have sold 85,000 watches to 66,434 backers, raising more than $10 million in the process. The Pebble was in such high demand that Migicovsky made the difficult decision to limit pre-orders to 85,000, a number that was reached nine days prior to the project’s original end date of May 18th. More →
Pebble, the smartwatch that can display and interact with apps on Android and iPhone smartphones, announced on Wednesday a partnership with popular fitness app RunKeeper that will allow users to wirelessly control and display information from the app on their Pebbles. “Making the RunKeeper app accessible from Pebble is another step towards making fitness tracking simple for our users.” said RunKeeper CEO Jason Jacobs. “People don’t just want to track their fitness activities, they want to do so in the most convenient way possible, and you can’t beat the form factor of a smart watch.” RunKeeper boasts more than 10 million users and was one of the highest grossing health and fitness apps in Apple’s App Store in 2010. “We welcome RunKeeper to the Pebble app family and we’re flattered that they are our first app partner,” said Eric Migicovsky, founder of Pebble Technology. The smartwatch is being fully funded through the crowd-source website Kickstarter and has become the most funded project in the site’s history. The Pebble has garnered more than 53,000 backers and thus far has raised over $8 million. The device is slated to be released in September. Pebble’s press release follows below. More →
Kickstarter is filled with some brilliant, some not-so-brilliant and some very strange ideas, and if user interest is any indication, the Pebble ePaper smartwatch can likely be filed under brilliant. Allerta, the company behind the product, opened a Kickstarter page less than a week ago and has already become the most funded project of all time on the site, which allows users to make small and large donations toward projects they want to back. The company’s initial goal was to raise $100,000, however in the past six days the project has accumulated a whopping $3.6 million in funding. Read on for more. More →