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Ramin Firoozye's (occasional) Public Whisperings

What we know about Pebble Time so far

Posted by: Ramin on February 25, 2015

Pebble just announced their 2nd-gen watch a couple days ago. They put it up on Kickstarter yesterday morning for a 31-day fundraising session. They reached their minimum in about 20 minutes.  As of the end of day 2 they were getting close to the $10M mark and they’re well on their way to breaking the Kickstarter record currently held by a cooler.The device itself is going to be running an ARM M4 at 100MHz (vs. ARM M3 at half the speed on the first-gen device). It comes with 64KB of RAM, Bluetooth classic and LE, accelerometer, 3D compass, ambient light sensor, and a microphone. The microphone is currently intended for use to send voice replies or record short notes.It’s got a snazzy color e-Ink type display that supports up to 64 colors.The video on the Kickstarter page is showing pretty smooth animation with very little tearing or blanking refreshes like most B&W eInk displays. Since it’s not backlit, Pebble claims there will be good visibility in daylight.Some folks have been sleuthing around and think these are the display manufacturers: http://www.j-display.com/english/news/2014/20140109.html. Battery life is claimed to be the same 5-7 days.It also has a very interesting hardware add-on port on the side. Not much by way of specs yet but the idea is that 3rd parties will be able to create add-on watchbands that plug into the port. Apparently you can do things like control LED lights, heart-rate sensors, or get extra battery power from the watchband.Software-wise they’re going to try to remain backward compatible with the C-SDK on the first watch. However, a new SDK is supposed to be in the works to allow better support for animation, including integration with their new Timeline interface.The C SDK already had support for simple UI, access to some of the sensors, and HTTP requests via the JS engine proxy baked into the Pebble phone app. The new SDK will presumably simplify the UI, support color and animation, and provide access to the Timeline.There will be a Pebble Meetup in San Francicso tomorrow night that I will be attending. Hope to have more details and (if permitted) take photographs of the device itself.

Version 3.0 of their SDK with support for a Color Pebble Time emulator. They also provided a bit more information on differences in hardware:

The main difference at the API level is, obviously, support for 64-colors, but also inclusion of an animation engine. The display itself has a fairly high refresh rate so on-device animations look reasonably smooth.

At the Meetup a number of Pebble members were present, all wearing and showing off the new Pebble Time. I had many deep technical conversations with the engineering staff so I neglected to take photographs of the device itself. However, a video of the presentations has already been posted:

 

Update 27-Feb-2015]

Yesterday morning Pebble released Version 3.0 of their SDK with support for a Color Pebble Time emulator. They also provided a bit more information on differences in hardware:

The main difference at the API level is, obviously, support for 64-colors, but also inclusion of an animation engine. The display itself has a fairly high refresh rate so on-device animations look reasonably smooth.

At the Meetup a number of Pebble members were present, all wearing and showing off the new Pebble Time. I had many deep technical conversations with the engineering staff so I neglected to take photographs of the device itself. However, a video of the presentations has already been posted: