Pebble today added three new additions to its popular smartwatch lineup, but they’re not the all-new Android Wear competitors you may have been hoping for. Instead, they’re actually original Pebbles with fancy new paint jobs — and they’re only available for a limited time.
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Build it and they will come!
Crowdfunding has been one of the best things to happen to entrepreneurs since the invention of the IPO. It's been pretty great for technophiles, too, giving us the chance to get involved with exciting projects at the earliest stage possible. Scouring through the pages of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, we've put together a list of the eight most tantalizing projects we've seen so far. What are they? Peruse our gallery to find out.
Picture: William Hall Raine/Flickr
SITU smart food scale
SITU is an attractive Bluetooth food scale that talks to your iPad. Created by former Apple employee Michael Grothaus — who came up with the idea while sitting in Apple’s Caffè Macs cafeteria — the device lets you see the exact nutritional content of any food you place on it, based on the food’s weight and broken down into calories, sugar, salt, protein, vitamins and minerals. The device itself is beautiful, too, with a simple but pleasing design that could have come straight out of Jony Ive’s workshop.
Preorders will be available on SITU’s official site next month.
Lunecase smart iPhone case
“This one weird trick” is usually a cue you’re in a part of the Internet where somebody is trying to convince you a British woman figured out a way to nab a new iPhone for just $10, or a guy worked out a totally safe steroid substitute doctors don’t want you know about. Not so in the case of Lunecase.
This iPhone case's one weird trick isn’t massively useful, but it is pretty cool nonetheless: Lunecase uses your device’s electromagnetic radiation to tell you of alerts you receive, then lights up the appropriate symbol on back to show if you’re getting a phone call or text message. Currently available for pre-order.
Elevation iPhone Dock
Milled from solid aluminum, the Elevation is the iPhone dock we wish Apple would make. What does it have over other docks? Attractive design, physical weight and an easy docking/undocking function, to name a few positives. There have been several versions since the first iteration of the Elevation Dock, but this is one crowdfunding project that definitely connected with the crowd needed to support it. Currently available for sale through its official website.
Apple is looking to out-feature this smartwatch with its long-awaited iWatch, but the Pebble is still a great device that works perfectly with your iPhone. Originally asking for just $100,000 on Kickstarter, the Pebble project ended up raking in a massive $10,266,845 in backer support. From its seamless integration with iOS — for notifications and easy control of iTunes and the like — to its own dedicated watch apps, Pebble is one of the best smartwatches to date.
How good is it? Even if the iWatch can do everything it’s rumored to do, I can still see why some users would stick with the Pebble.
Have you heard the one about Neil Young’s high-definition iPod? I’ll admit I chuckled when I heard about the PonoPlayer, as did a lot of people, but few were laughing when the project racked up $6,225,354 in backer support against a stated goal of $800,000. With "Pono" being a Hawaiian word for “righteous” or “pureness,” the PonoPlayer hopes to deliver the same kind of leap from today’s MP3s that we saw when cassette tapes made way for CDs.
Young’s goal is that our "cultural history should be preserved for enjoyment of the people in its highest possible form forever.” And despite the PonoPlayer's slightly wacky design, he’s convinced it's the tool to accomplish it. Pono will soon begin shipping more than 15,000 PonoPlayers to its Kickstarter backers.
MagBak iPad mount
Is there any more obvious sign of the increasing role computers are playing in our lives than the fact that we now use them in the kitchen? Even 20 years ago, the idea that we would want to expose our laptops or desktops to the same surface we were chopping meat and onions on would have seemed preposterous. If you’re anything like me, that changed the moment the iPad came along, and you got used to being able to watch TV or check out a recipe while you were cooking. The MagBak, a super-thin iPad case that lets you magnetically stick your tablet to your fridge door, is particularly great for this application. It’s a neat design and works excellently.
Available in several versions for Apple’s various iPads, the MagBak is available for sale through its official website, priced at $39.
One of the biggest — and arguably most controversial — crowdfunding campaigns was for the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset. One of the biggest because it saw backers pledge $2,437,429 against a $250,000 goal; one of the most controversial because after that influx of capital from the well-meaning public, the Oculus' creators promptly sold pit to Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook empire for the grand sum of $2 billion.
Everyone, with the conspicuous absence of Apple (for now!), is announcing VR projects today. With possible applications in everything from video games to movies, it’s looking like one of the most exciting paradigm shifts to hit tech in years.
As for Oculus’ current status? We’re waiting for the second big iteration, but Oculus VR is currently cracking down on people looking to turn a profit by selling their preordered devices before they even ship.
Duet Bluetooth tag
Compared to the world of virtual reality promised by Oculus, a device that makes your phone beep when you lose it sounds pretty minor. But just because a device solves a relatively run-of-the-mill, commonplace problem doesn’t mean there’s no demand for it. The Duet's Indiegogo campaign proved that perfectly, when it surged past its $5,000 goal by 2,137 percent to raise $106,830.
The Duet is a smart Bluetooth tag that watches out for your iPhone. Working with the PROTAG app, the tag attaches to your key chain, bag or wallet and then searches for your smartphone (or vice versa), allowing you to quickly and easily find whichever of your precious personal belongings have been misplaced. At time of writing, backers have started receiving their devices.
When Pebble’s last iOS update essentially bricked the smart watch, leaving it capable of only (shock horror) telling the time, we knew that something needed to be done in a hurry.
Fortunately Pebble realized that too, since the company has rushed out a new update for its official iOS app — fixing the bug users had complained about which stopped the Pebble from connecting to an iPhone via Bluetooth.
Pebble Notes, a new iPhone app written by a student for students, puts important information on your wrist by sending your notes to your Pebble.
So many of us rely on the notes we’ve created and stored on our smartphones to get us through the day. We use them to make shopping lists for the supermarket, jot down passwords and codes we’ll need later on, and to help us remember other important information — such as answers for exams.
But if we leave our iPhone at home, they’re no good to us — unless you have Pebble Notes.
If you have a Pebble watch, don’t download the Pebble 2.1 update. It could very well brick your smart watch.
So, I finally broke down and bought a Pebble Smart Watch the other day. Just rolled into Best Buy and looked at both the FitBit Force fitness tracker and the Pebble. At just $20 more than the Force, I figured I’d get a fun geeky gadget that would do more than tell the time and count my steps.
Category: Wearable Tech
Works With: iOS, Android
What I got for my $150 was a geeky gadget that tells me the time and passes notifications–usually–from my iPhone. And that’s about it, really.
Announced today at CES, Pebble’s new watch has the same OS current owners know, but the physical materials have been upgraded from plastic to CNC-machined stainless steel. With a new developer SDK and its own app store on the near horizon, Pebble is leading the smartwatch race. But does it have what it takes to make the smartwatch cool?
The creators of the incredibly popular Pebble smartwatch, which came alive in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign last year, said yesterday that they will be bringing “something special” to this year’s International CES in Las Vegas.
Pebble has rolled out a new update to its hugely popular smartwatch, finally adding a Do Not Disturb mode, multiple alarms, better performance on iOS, and numerous new features and improvements.
Developers are making some pretty awesome apps for the Pebble smartwatch, but Chrono could be one of the most significant to date — at least for its creator, Rick Ucker.
Ucker built the simple app to propose to his now fiancée, who bought him the $150 smartwatch for his birthday.