Pebble Rethinks Its Smartwatch With a Colorful, Easier to Use Model

First emerging out of a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, Pebble has already sold over 1 million of its first-generation version of smartphone-connected watches.  The company is now ready to move on to version 2.0.

The new watch is called Pebble Time and it’s 20 percent thinner than the original, with a Gorilla Glass face flanked by a stainless steel bezel. The new interface has been designed to be simpler to navigate and the display has been improved with a newly developed 64-color e-paper screen that offers good visibility in sunlight without compromising on the device’s 7-day battery life. A waterproof microphone was added, enabling translation of spoken words into text or audio that can be distributed via email or Facebook Messenger.

Like its predecessor, Pebble Time has a power button on one side and three buttons on the opposite side for navigating up, down, and making selections. Its underside is curved ergonomically to fit your wrist more naturally. It fits a standard 22mm watch strap, but has a quick-release mechanism so you can easily swap straps.

The original Pebble digital interface was organized in terms of notifications, apps, and watch faces; simple, but you could get bogged down once you start adding multiple options to each interface category. The new interface breaks down those virtual dividers and instead presents information based on a timeline of your day. Information that’s relevant to you is displayed in the context of being in the past, present or future.

“Once we thought of this, everything clicked,” said CEO Eric Migicovsky. “We could understand how you could do more and accomplish more with your watch without it becoming a complex, compound juggernaut.”

So, when using Pebble Time to scroll into the past, you might see things like your step count, an email you missed, or the score from last night’s baseball game. In the present, you could see weather and traffic conditions, stats on current sports games, and message notifications. Previewing the future, you would be able to see upcoming calendar events as well as any information relating to them.

Pebble is launching a Kickstarter for orders of its Pebble Time smartwatch. The decision isn’t funding-based—the company is profitable, and production of the watches is well underway. Rather, it’s a hat tip towards the community that gave the company its start in the first place, and a way to get the new product in front of Pebble’s core audience of early adopters, tinkerers, and technophiles.

Available in three colors, white, black, and red, the $200 Pebble Time arrives this May.

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