Most everyone has heard of Kickstarter, the crowd-funding site that most recently delivered us the Pebble watch:
The Pebble is in pre-release status, with early versions going only to those who helped fund the project. Of course, Pebble got $10M from the unwashed, having requested only $100K! Apple, take note, there is a HUGE demand for the smart watch, a companion device, if you will, to an iPhone or Android phone. (I’m not even going to get into the plethora of actual wrist-phones, made mostly in China and found on eBay, which appear to have about 10 minutes of battery-life before cutting off the conversation you were having with your wrist.)
Being impatient, I paid a little extra to buy a Pebble watch recently from a Kickstarter, and I’m not at all sorry. Software is still in a primitive state, but it works, and fairly well at that. I miss far fewer calls and texts, as my wrist now vibrates when something comes in.
Apple will certainly produce an iWatch at some point, and in fact, there are some unofficial (not from Apple) designs out there that are most intriguing:
Yes, I’ll be first in line at the nearest Apple Store to plunk down whatever it takes to get one of these. Personally, I like the first one in the series. Are you listening, Apple?
In the meantime, there are others working on the Smart Watch concept. There is, in fact, another crowd-funding site, Indiegogo, and there, I found the Buddy Watch by Vea Digital of France.
The perhaps unfortunately-named Buddy has a much larger screen (and color at that) and several more applications out of the box, or crib, or whatever births crowd-funded projects:
The Indiegogo campaign
is progressing slowly, however, with only about $77,000 donated out of the required $320,000. I did get in on the ground floor on this one, and I’ll get the watch (they promise!) for $99 instead of the $250 it will ultimately fetch in the stores. You can still get one for a pledge of $150, or you can wait for me to get mine and get bored with it, and sell it on eBay for something in between.
My gosh, but there’s a lot of cool stuff on Kickstarter and Indiegogo…wallet beware!