Pebble smartwatch launched at CES and to be made available this month

A new smartwatch, which was created thanks to $15m (£10m) in crowdsourced funding, has been launched at CES and will be made available before the end of the month. The Pebble has an e-ink display similar to those found on e-readers. The 1.26in (3,2cm) screen is able to display a broad range of apps as well as tell the time and can last even days on one battery charge.

Originally it was intended by the phone’s backers to start shipping in the autumn but the project was hit by a number of development delays. The watch will go first to those who contributed to its funding, before then being shipped to those who have placed pre-orders.

Costing £110 ($149) the first watches will begin shipping on 23 January.

The Pebble will be mass-produced at a rate of 15,000 units each week, according to the project founder Eric Migicovsky speaking at CES. Third-party developers will be able to create apps for the watch which can pair up with smartphones running Google”s Android software or Apple”s iOS.

Wearers can receive text messages and emails through the device, as well as manage incoming calls and at the launch the watch was used to wirelessly control functions on a smartphone – such as playing music while a device is in a docking station.

The Pebble weighs 38.2g (1.3oz) and its black and white screen has a resolution of 144 x 168 pixels.

Pebble”s makers have paired with notification service If This Then That (IFTTT), a site which allows users to set up custom actions such as receiving a notification when weather changes, or when a news website is updated.

Mr Migicovsky said that the watch depletes a smartphone”s battery by around 5-10% per day. To charge the Pebble itself, a cable must be attached.

Smartwatches are quite common although to date the market is largely dominated by sports brands such as Nike and Adidas whose products offer fitness statistics, route tracking and pacing data.

The project to develop the Pebble debuted on Kickstarter in April 2012 seeking $100,000 (£62,000) to complete development of the device.

By the end of its 38 day funding drive it had raised more than $10m and had almost 70,000 backers. More funds were raised via its website as people put down cash to reserve one of the first devices

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