Last year, the Pebble smartwatch reached its Kickstarter goal. Actually, to be most accurate, in May of last year the Pebble smartwatch demolished its original Kickstarter goal. The company behind the smartwatch, Pebble Technology, initially asked for $100,000 to get their project off the ground and into the wild. Their end result was just over $10 million, and there were over 60,000 backers. That’s a lot of people backing a project that, for all intents and purposes, looked amazing. Yet, wasn’t real. Not yet, anyway.
May, 2011, was a long time ago. It’s especially a long time for anyone who put money down on something and had to watch as, over and over again, the only news coming out of home base revolved around more delays. A lot of backers were hoping that they’d be able to get their Pebble smartwatch around their wrist by the holiday season, maybe even as a present for themselves, but that didn’t happen. In fact, Pebble Technologies released a Christmas card that backers could download, and basically look at as a consolation gift.
And yet, everyone I’ve spoken with about their backing of the Pebble smartwatch insists that it was a good idea. I have yet to meet, or speak with one person who regrets backing the smartwatch, even if they don’t have the product they helped create. (Some might say the product they bought, but I don’t really see it that way.) Again, May was a long time ago, and that was a solid $99 you had to put down to get your Pebble smartwatch reserved.
$99 at least.
Earlier this morning, Pebble Technology’s CEO Eric Migicovsky took the stage at the company’s press event at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was already believed that there’d be big news from the event, and the company didn’t disappoint. For backers of the Pebble smartwatch, their watches would begin shipping on January 23. Just a few short weeks from now. Obviously they can’t get everyone’s watch to them in the first wave, so Migicovsky made sure to point out that all backers were expected to receive their smartwatch in six to eight weeks after shipping started.
So if you have the best luck, you could get your Pebble smartwatch as soon as the end of January. And if you have terrible, terrible luck, you’ll be getting yours maybe all the way in March. But! At least it’s coming. At least the company has officially announced a date that shipping starts, and a timeframe to expect to see your smartwatch show up on your doorstep.
I didn’t get around to backing Pebble, but that has nothing to do with the product or idea. I actually love the idea, and the designs that Pebble Technology has come up with are very nice. (I’m a particular fan of the Arctic White version. But that Cherry Red model is nice, too.) I hope that Pebble continues to see plenty of love and affection after it lands on consumer’s wrists. I do wish it had Cellular-connectivity, sure, but that’s a small gripe, if it’s a gripe at all.
Kickstarters are an interesting thing, to be sure. Putting money down on a product you think will be awesome is a slippery slope, or at least it has the potential to be. I think that’s why I haven’t gotten around to backing anything quite yet, no matter how impressive it looks, or how much press it’s getting. That could change this year, maybe. I do wish I had backed the Pebble smartwatch, though. I’d like to know my watch was in the mail, so to speak, starting at the end of the month. That’d be a nice feeling to have.
Did you back the Pebble smartwatch? Were you becoming a little disheartened by all the waiting, and lack of product? Has all that been alleviated by the announcement that your watch is coming soon? Or are you going to wait to see how people review their first watches before you buy one for yourself, or someone else? Let me know!