Kickstarter has a way of launching both new and existing products, and the already available but barely known Pebble is a prime example, receiving well over $3 million in funding within a few days, and arguably more importantly becoming a recognized name over night. But, clearly the Pebble team aren’t the only guys in town who have been working on micro-screen technologies… literally in the last week Sony have announced their [rather generically named] SmartWatch offering a very similar feature set but with the noticeable addition of a touchscreen. It looks polished too, a nice color display and only $50 more than the Pebble at $150 retail.
Then there’s the other start-up contender, WiMM Labs, with the WiMM One. Squarely still in developer mode, every reference on their website is to their module. I’m not sure that’s going to help from an advertising standpoint.
And lastly (at least for today’s round-up) the Motorola MotoACTV, directly marketed to the fitness crowd this contender also features the phone synch, messaging and notification features; although strangely without vibrate or an external speaker (- mandatory headphones, really? That in itself is a deal-breaker.)
This looks like another market set to be claimed by the first company with the right combination of form and function working in harmony, which by today’s terms also means a decent App store and plenty of choice. With $3m in funding Pebble may feel like a winner without even having manufactured their latest model, but Apple would clear ten times this revenue in first week sales when they come to the table. And let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time.