A few days ago Allerta, the company that also created the inPulse smartwatch, submitted a new concept watch to Kickstarter for funding. While they only needed $100K to get this watch into production, they’re well above their original goal and it seems this concept watch is going to become reality later on this year. This is rather exciting news for smartwatch enthousiasts like myself since smartwatches are typically not all that popular amongst mainstream buyers. Have Eric and his persistent team at Allerta been able to turn the tide? Only time well tell!
What is exciting about this new smartwatch is that it uses e-ink technology. While this is not the first watch to use e-ink, it is (as far as I’m aware) the first smartwatch that is using an e-ink display. The major advantage of e-ink is its readability in bright daylight and battery life. This always-on watch has a battery life of 7+ days according to Allerta!
Just like their inPulse watch, the Pebble smartwatch also has a vibrating motor for alerts. With just a shake of the wrist you can easily dismiss these alerts and that is possible thanks to a built-in 3 axis accelerometer with gesture detection. As I mentioned, the display is black and white e-paper with a resolution of 144×168 pixels. Unlike the inPulse watch which only has 1 button, I’m pretty excited about the fact that this watch actually has 4 buttons which opens up the door to so many more possibilities. Maybe now I can actually continue on my pac man game I originally started writing for the inPulse watch. Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR is used to allow communication with your Android and iOS smart phone. Pebble has an ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller with about 8 times more flash memory and 12 times more RAM than inPulse which means it will have about 96KB RAM.
Besides the ability to show notifications such as incoming calls, emails, text messages (not for iOS), weather updates, and calendar alerts, Pebble also comes with a few other built-in apps. A music app will allow you to control songs on your smart phone. Cyclists and runners will be able to monitor their speed, distance, and pace. Allerta is also working together with a third party to create a great golf rangefinder app that works on over 25,000 courses world-wide. This will allow golfers to see their distance to the green right from their wrist.
And yes, just like the inPulse, you’ll be able to create your own applications thanks to an SDK that will be made available later this year. Unlike the inPulse watch, you will be able to run multiple applications at the same time which is once again another great step in the right direction.
Other exciting features to share are the fact that the lens has an anti-glare optical coating, that the watch is waterproof (you can actually use it while swimming), and that the watch does have a backlight.
All in all, it seems that Eric and the entire Allerta team have learned a lot from their previous inPulse watch and I for one look forward to the launch date which is currently set for September of 2012.
You can keep an eye on their site at getpebble.com