The developers of the Pebble Watch — which connects by Bluetooth to your Android or iOS (iPhone) smartphone — don’t want any more investor money to launch their prototype product.
In fact, they’ve got more money than they ever wanted, and tons more people still knocking on their door trying to shove cash in their faces.
And all they had to do was post their idea on a website called Kickstarter.
When Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists didn’t show much interest in the watch, Eric Migicovsky and his team went to Kickstarter with a goal of raising $100,000 to get the project off the ground and into production.
Kickstarter (kickstarter.com) is a site that lets ordinary people back a range of projects from indie developers for various rewards.
Within hours of getting the Pebble Watch on the site, the Internet had rallied behind the idea and raised the $100,000 needed.
Then it kept going.
So far the project has raised some $10 million — smashing the previous $3 million record — and has had to close its Kickstarter page from further investors.
I bet there are a few Silicon Valley venture capitalists kicking themselves right now… or having a butler kick them… or whatever rich people do when they feel mad. Maybe laugh at poor people. Who knows?
But so far, some 40,799 people have ponied up $115 for a free watch when they come out (retailing at $150 apparently), and 31 people shelled out $10,000 for a Mega Distributor pack with 100 watches.
What’s all the fuss about?
Well, consider never having to take your phone out of your pocket again… or not very often.
The Pebble comes with its own applications (apps) and allows you to access email, texts, Facebook, your music, calendars and a ton of your phone’s other Internet-enabled features right from your wrist.
The watch itself is made of e-paper — basically a thin screen — connected wirelessly via Bluetooth to your phone, so you can customize how the time displays, along with a host of other options.
The company is also is working on a golf rangefinder app for Pebble that works on more than 25,000 courses worldwide, letting you view your current distance to the green right on your wrist.
And that’s just the beginning.
With all the interest the watch has generated, you can bet developers are looking for ways to cash in on the hype with apps of their own that work on the gizmo.
Throw a camera on it, and get Skype to work — and voila! We have the Dick Tracy watch every geek ever born has dreamed about.
You can still be part of what’s sure to be tech history by donating a dollar to the company for updates and news about the Pebble Watch.
In the meantime, we’ll just have to wait for the gadget to hit retail stores, and we can give the company our money the old-fashioned way.