Possibly the most insane smartwatch you’ll hear about in 2013 just finished its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, thoroughly smashing its $100,000 goal by more than eight times. Based in Montreal, The Neptune Pine smartwatch raised $801,224 from 2,839 backers.
According to SeedingFactory’s Heri Rakotomalala, Neptune Pine raised the second most money for a Kickstarter project in Canada, only behind the Polar Pen Magnets from Waterloo, which made $817,000.
The new smartwatch packs a big punch, including: the ability to make voice calls and text messaging; a full qwerty keyboard; a complete web experience with 3G and Wi-Fi; built-in GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, pedometer and digital compass that support several fitness apps; a VGA front-facing camera with flash; a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera with flash; voice recognition; full Android jelly bean; a powerful 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor; 32GB of storage; and up to 5 days of battery life. Take a deep breath now.
Neptune was founded by Simon Tian in 2012, while the first smartwatches are expected to go out in January 2014.
“Most of the wrist-worn devices on the market right now don’t really seem to be living up to the hype. They’re usually sold as Bluetooth-tethered accessories for your smartphone; either for fitness tracking or as a sort of notification center,” wrote the Neptune Pine cofounders. “That’s why we decided to develop our own smartwatch: the Neptune Pine, the most connected independent smartwatch. The Pine is the only device you’ll ever need. It’s really the top of the food chain when it comes to smartwatches, packing more features than any wrist-worn device out there, without the need to keep your smartphone nearby. This is the smartwatch, reinvented.”
Neptune has received some pretty amazing coverage in tech blogs and major media outlets alike. Fast Company covered the watch when it had raised $194,000 in two days, declaring that “people really want this incredibly powerful smartwatch”. Similarly, Tian told the Globe and Mail that he plans to produce at least 2,500 units of his Neptune Pine smart watch by January. A model with 16 gigabytes of storage will sell for $335, while it will be an extra $60 for double the storage.
It looks like now all those backers who supported Neptune will be receiving their smartwatches. Could this be the next incredibly successful smart hardware startup out of Canada? It certainly looks at though the company is on their way.