Pebble Announces First Ship Date, Demos ePaper Smart Watch

If you have been waiting with baited breath to get the Kickstarter-backed Pebble grayscale smart watch can finally see a backlight at the end of the tunnel. Today at a CES press conference, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky announced that the first units will begin shipping to Kickstarter backers on January 23rd with priority given to those who backed the project earliest.

In a 20-minute presentation, Migicovsky demonstrated the key features of the new watch, which uses a 1.2-inch  ePaper display to provide up to 7 days of continuous battery life. He also said his company built its own OS from the ground up, but licensed a professional Bluetooth stack to maintain solid connectivity with your Android or iPhone.

He stated that the Pebble is water resistant enough to be used in the rain and contains future-proof elements like Bluetooth 4.0 and a magnetometer that currently serves no purpose, but may after later updates. The watch will be available in several colors including gray, red and orange.

During an extensive demo, Migicovsky showed off some of the Pebbles' key features including its multiple attractive faces some of which are animated, its ability to show email and SMS alerts, and integration with a web tool called "if this, then that" which allows you to configure custom alerts using a variety of services such as weather and news. Using the service, Migicovsky configured the weather service to alert him if it snows in Las Vegas.

He briefly showed the Pebble's iPhone app, which allows you to control settings on the phone. Migicovsky said that the company is also working with third-party developers to build their own pebble apps.