Canadian big box store Best Buy is now accepting Canadian pre-orders for the Pebble smartwatch.
The news comes after a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign that saw the company, Pebble Technology, raise over $4.7 million within six days. It marked the project as the most funded project in the history of Kickstarter. On May 18, 2012, funding closed with $10,266,844 pledged by 68,928 people.
Based in Palo Alto, California, the company has now agreed to make its smartwatch available to two Canadian retailers, one of which is Best Buy. Preorders begin on Friday October 25.
“The Pebble smartwatch launched from the most successful kickstarter campaign to date and has been on high demand since its release earlier this year,” said Best Buy Canada’s Phil Johnston. “Wearable technology is a hugely growing product category, and Pebble is on the cutting edge of the space. We know this is a product our customers are looking for and will be a popular gift this holiday.”
As of July, Pebble Technologies had sold 275,000 units from Kickstarter and preorders combined. In May the company raised a big series A round of $15 million.
The Pebble smartwatch connects seamlessly to your iOS or Android device using Bluetooth technology, and alerts you of incoming calls, emails, and text messages. There are also over 1,000 Internet-connected apps available for download including customizable watchfaces, fitness apps and music.
BetaKit’s wearable tech expert Tom Emrich wrote about his five reasons for being bullish on the future of smartwatches yesterday. He argued that one of the initial criticisms of the Pebble watch was that people thought it looked too much like an ordinary watch. People was pizzazz, dressed up as the future. Despite the fact that “no one is ready for the future,” Emrich called on smartwatch creators like Pebble to up their game, saying that “those getting in the smartwatch game need to have a much keener eye for design.”
But Pebble has already been leading the pack in terms of apps, particularly a few nice classic arcade games. As Emrich wrote, “your smartphone isn’t really smart without the software on it. The same goes for your tablet. These devices owe their success to the developers who have created apps that make your device do anything from tell you the weather to allow you play games and watch movies.”
That being said it will be of large interest to see how Pebble forges ahead in app creation. In fact, it’s likely what will separate the watch from all other wearable tech.
Other key features of Pebble include:
Key features of the Pebble include:
- Waterproof – works in both fresh and saltwater and is rated at 5 ATM, which means it can be used for swimming or surfing
- Battery life lasts up to 7 days
- 1.26 non-touch e-paper display allows easy viewing in both sunlight and in darker lit environments
- Accelerometer has gesture detection allowing you to flip the backlight on by flicking your wrist
- Compatible with iOS and Android