Kickstarter is still a questionable service, with no guarantee what you are funding will yield an impressive end product, it can be risky business pledging a good chunk of money to a relatively unknown developer, who will then work with partners to make the product.
This is exactly what Pebble offered, a unique product from a small group with relatively unknown backstory, but it ended up being the most successful Kickstarter to date, getting over $10.1 million more pledged than they originally asked.
The premise was clever, offering an E-Ink smartwatch for quite a cheap price with some unique features when connected to a smartphone. Instead of making odd gestured touch control and other features consumers don’t usual buy into, Pebble put the features straight down and simple – and it got a huge response.
In the months that followed, Pebble hit some minor delays and still suffers with color options, but most of the people who got the Pebble smartwatch are not disappointed. It works – the way it was advertised, which is the key ingredient for a happy customer.
However, the success of Pebble may be short lived, with a huge waiting list still rising and not a lot of advertising dollars or shops selling the smartwatch, the startup developer could be shot down by technology giants who have just taken an interest in smartwatches, including Apple, Samsung, Google and LG.
The Galaxy Gear has already been slated as a rather poor device. Latest leaks show low battery life, unimpressive specs and the same sort of bad software design we have come to expect from Samsung, who need to take notes from their friends Xiaomi and Meizu in China.
This is just the start of the smartwatch era though and Samsung’s VP of Mobile Division has said the Galaxy Gear is only a test product, to gauge the ideas and analyse what needs to be done to create an excellent consumer smartwatch.
We also have Apple, hard at work building the iWatch, the newest iGadget set to be overpriced for what lies inside. Google is also a serious contender and may use Motorola to build the smartwatch, with defining Google-touches; like Maps integration.
With all the advertising money set with these big companies, Pebble may have lost their chance in the market simply because they were not quick enough to get the smartwatch out to everyone and add new features to enhance the user experience.