Over 18 months ago, San Francisco-based technology upstart Pebble broke all Kickstarter records for the fastest-funded project. The company produced a short video and prototype for what they wanted to make - a smart watch - initially asking for $100,000 to get their idea off the ground. What happened next shocked everybody, as not only did the company reach their goal within two hours, but had also managed to raise more than $5 million by the end of the 30-day period. The group behind the idea instantly became the new superstars of the technology world.
Pebble's smart watch works by linking itself to the Bluetooth of the wearer's smartphone, so it cannot yet operate independently. The watches are marketed as fitness trackers, smartphone accessories, or simply watches that can do a little more than just tell you the time and date. Depending on the apps a person has downloaded onto their phone, the watch can function as a GPS, display current weather conditions and receive push alerts for text messages and alarms.
While this new watch leaves a lot to be desired, many in the industry were left wondering why Apple - the biggest name in cutting-edge technology - did not develop their own version first. Since smart watches cannot operate without a smartphone, it makes sense for the leader in phones to have their own line of compatible watches. It would also reach a much wider market - 300,000 of Pebble's watches have been sold to date, compared to the 9 million iPhones that were sold in just one weekend last September.
Industry experts believe that if the market share for smart watches grows substantially, Apple will be on the front lines with its own perfected version.
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