Crowdfunding site Kickstarter has enjoyed yet another spectacular year of growth, with some incredible wins for engineering startups. Come and see some of the highest funded projects from 2012.
The Pebble Watch, designed by Eric Migicovsky, is a watch that, quite simply, can display messages from a user’s smartphone. Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, is customizable, has downloadable watchfaces and boasts internet-connected apps. The watch alerts wearers with silent vibrations to incoming calls, emails and messages.
Migicovsky initially took the Pebble project through the Y Combinator technology incubator program, and managed to raise some funds that way, though not enough to take the business to the next level.
That’s when Migicovsky turned to Kickstarter, launching a campaign for Pebble on April 11, 2012, with an initial fundraising target of $100,000.
The campaign promised that backers spending $115 would receive a Pebble watch when they became available ($99 for the first 200). With the full retail price of the Pebble set at $150, this was a significant discount.
Just two hours after going live, the project had met its $100,000 goal and within six days of being on Kickstarter, the project had become the platform’s most funded project ever, raising over $4.7 million with 30 days left of the campaign.
So hot was the Pebble watch on Kickstarter, that the team had to announce on May 10th that they would be limiting the number of pre-orders. On May 18, 2012, funding closed with $10,266,844 pledged by 68,928 people.
The watch’s tech specs include a 1.26-inch 144 × 168 pixel monochrome e-paper display with backlight, a vibrating motor and a three-axis accelerometer. The device uses Bluetooth 4.0 to pair with iPhones or Android devices, and the battery on the watch can last seven days before needing a full recharge. The watch is also water resistant and boasts GPS.
Pebble’s SDK is freely available to developers who want to build apps for it.
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