As a company, Pebble is clearly of the opinion that if a chosen route to market has worked for you twice already, then it makes perfect sense to go for that success a third time. After two successful Kickstarter campaigns – which funded the original Pebble smartwatch and follow on Pebble Time wearable – the company is back once again with a third crowdfunding campaign to try and get pre-orders for the Pebble 2, the Pebble Time 2, as well as an entirely new product named Core that clips onto an owners shirt or keys to offer fitness tracking and music streaming capabilities.
We all already know what Pebble has offered in the past, with Pebble, Pebble Steel, Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel, but these new contraptions, especially the Core offering, is Pebble’s way of diversifying its product portfolio.
Let’s take a closer look at the future of the company and its three new product offerings.
From a design perspective, the second-generation Pebble is immediately recognizable as the evolution of the original smartwatch that rose to prominence during 2012 as part of an insanely successful Kickstarter campaign. The company has worked hard to try and bring a slimmer profile to the Pebble 2, and has also increased its capabilities by packing in a new heart rate sensor. Rather than being a straightforward intelligent smartwatch, the Pebble 2 has a clear focus on fitness tracking and will compete with product offerings from the likes of Fitbit.
Hardware wise, in addition to looking very similar to the original, there’s a 1.26-inch black and white e-paper display with Gorilla Glass. The battery should give you 7 days of uptime. The watch will be available in Flame, Aqua, Black, White, and Lime colors.
Pre-ordering through Kickstarter, you will be able to secure a Pebble 2 for a limited time price of $99 before it rises to $129 post launch. Availability is slated for September this year.
Pebble Time 2
If you like the functionality bundled into the second-generation Pebble as outlined above, but are looking for something that looks a bit sleeker and hotter, then the second-generation Pebble Time could be worth looking at. The Time 2 will ship with a similar steel body to the original Time Steel, but will also come with a significantly reduced price-tag of just $169 via Kickstarter, or $199 when the product goes live.
Like the Pebble 2, there’s a built-in heart rate monitor for fitness tracking, along with a silicon rubber strap and a battery life that should last approximately ten days. The display is colored e-paper and of a high resolution while also being larger than before. Those looking to grab the watch can choose from Gold, Black, and Silver colors. Pebble will start shipping the Time 2 in November.
This is where things start to get interesting and confusing in equal measures. The Core is a Pebble created little box that can clip onto a jacket or set of keys. Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky has likened the Core to the iPod Shuffle, which should invoke enough sentimental value with a lot of consumers to convince them to give it a try. If you can get used to the fact that the Core doesn’t come with a display, then you’ll probably love its GPS tracking capabilities and ability to stream Spotify music with the addition of a SIM card. The GPS data can be synced to “Runkeeper, Strava, and Under Armour Record”. Core can also send a one-click SOS signal, as well as record some voice notes.
There’s also a Core for Hackers thrown into the mix here. This particular contraption “is a tiny, hackable Android computer that fits on your keychain to become your magic button for anything.” This as described by Pebble opens up endless possibilities, including calling an Uber taxi to your location, tracking a pet, or even piloting a drone.
The little clip-on Core packs 4GB of internal storage, a battery that should last around 5.5 hours, and even a 3.5mm headphone jack along with the obvious Bluetooth chip. Shipping is expected to begin in January 2017, with a price tag of $69.