Kickstarter is the ultimate meritocracy. For every dozen navel-gazing "fund my album" projects that flounder and die well before their deadlines, there are a handful of incredible ideas that take off instantly. The Pebble is one of them.
The Pebble -- not to be confused with the discontinued line of Motorola flip phones -- is "the only watch that works perfectly with iPhone and Android smart phones," lead developer Eric Migicovsky explains in the device's Kickstarter campaign video.
Developed by Migicovsky and the team at inPulse, whose previous smart watch device worked with Android and BlackBerry, the Pebble met its Kickstarter funding goal of $100,000 within two hours of launching on Wednesday.
Mashable reports that within a day, the project had received more than $500,000 in pledges. At time of writing, the project was steadily cruising toward the million-dollar mark.
In February, Joystiq reported that a video game project on Kickstarter called "Double Fine Adventure" raised $678,000 in 8 hours and 11 minutes. The project received more than $3.3 million in pledges by its March 13 deadline.
So what's so great about a watch that syncs with a smartphone? Well, aside from performing fundamental tasks like displaying the time -- and looking requisitely sleek while doing so -- the Pebble comes with a suite of customizable apps that marry smartphone metrics with the watch's sharp, hands-free e-paper display.
As explained in its Kickstarter campaign video, the Bluetooth-enabled Pebble can act as a remote control for music applications, provide distance and rate information during workouts, and like its predecessor, display incoming text, e-mail and call alerts.
Apps for the Pebble are available on a watch app store that is accessible from compatible devices. The company also plans to release a software development kit so others can develop apps for it.
Best of all, the watch will be priced at around $150, which is about what one might expect to pay for a good-looking watch that doesn't come with all of the Pebble's technological bells and whistles. Early backers can get discounts and other incentives via the Pebble's Kickstarter page.
The only apparent drawback is the watch's battery life. While seven days of battery may be great for a device, it's a pretty short lifespan for a watch. Nevertheless, overall, the enthusiasm for the Pebble seems pretty well-deserved.