Monday, August 20, 2012

The Kickstarter project that set out to raise $100,000 and ended up raising $10 million instead!

Kickstarter is a three-year old crowd funding website that has truly taken off. Crowd funding's been around for a while, but until Kick Starter it was never easy to connect good ideas with potential customers and investors. Kickstarter changed all that and, so far, it's been used to raise over $323 million for more than 10,000 projects. While most projects are quite small (raising less than $10,000) a few have hit startling fundraising achievements.

A CNBC list of the top 10 Kickstarter projects has a very interesting and useful number one project: The Pebble E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android.

Pebble is a customizable watch. Download new watchfaces, use sports and fitness apps, get notifications from your phone.

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.

Apps bring Pebble to life. We're building some amazing apps for Pebble. Cyclists can use Pebble as a bike computer, accessing the GPS on your smartphone to display speed, distance and pace data. Runners get a similar set of data displayed on their wrist. Use the music control app to play, pause or skip tracks on your phone with the touch of a button. Don't worry about the rain, Pebble is water-resistant! If you're a golfer, feel free to bring Pebble onto the course. We're working with Freecaddie to create a great golf rangefinder app for Pebble that works on over 25,000 courses world-wide. Instead of using your phone, view your current distance to the green right on your wrist. These apps will be the first, with more in the works!

...Pebble can change instantly, thanks to its brilliant, outdoor-readable electronic-paper (e-paper) display. We've designed tons of watchfaces already, with more coming every day. Choose your favourite watchfaces using Pebble's iPhone or Android app. Then as the day progresses, effortlessly switch to the one that matches your mood, activity or outfit.

If you need to stay on top of things, Pebble can help with vibrating notifications, messages and alerts. Dismiss a notification with a shake of your wrist. Don't worry, it's easy to disable all notifications.

I think Pebble has a real chance to make it big. Why?

If you think about the trends that have dominated computer technology, they tend to revolve around miniaturization. From mainframes, to minicomputers, to personal computers, to smartphones and tablets: people want smaller, more functional devices that are always there to assist them.

Pebble seems to fit that template.

While its fundraising cycle is over, you can now order the watches over at Pebble's Kickstarter site.

Oh, but remember: they didn't build that.

Hat tip:

1 comment:

DavidD said...

I already use my iPod nano as a watch--and, with FM radio, I can listen to Rush, too.

Will the next-generation nano displace the Pebble?