Pebble today introduced a new color E-ink watch, the Pebble Time; it’s taking orders on Kickstarter with promised shipping in May. Early bird pricing is $159 for the first 5,000 units, another 20,000 will be $179, and retail pricing will be $199. The initial $500,000 goal was reached within 20 minutes of launch. [UPDATE: By 6pm Eastern, 8 hours after launch, more than 30,000 backers had kicked in more than $6.3 million. The Early Bird units were long gone, although the next tier had plenty left.)
The Pebble Time will feature a new interface and new operating system, although older apps will work. Besides color, the watch will incorporate a microphone that will accept dictation to respond to notifications on Android, and only Gmail notifications on iOS. (It’s not clear if you can initiate a text with the mic, but you can create voice memos.) Battery life remains at an estimated seven days.
The new OS is built around a timeline metaphor; notifications from all apps are placed into a unified timeline that users scroll through with one of the watch’s three buttons. The new OS will work on existing watches, but the date for that is TBD.