Ship date announced for Pebble smartwatch

The Pebble ‘smart watch’ that’s generated so much interest on Kickstarter now has a ship date – 23rd January – with the 85,000 backers of the project set to receive their watches a few weeks later.

The Pebble, which will retail for about $150, is now being built in China at the rate of 15,000 per week.

It was launched thanks to a Kickstarter crowd funding initiative – the most successful ever, rasing more than $10 million. Early backers will be rewarded by being first to get their hands on one of the devices.

The watch comes in a varity of colors, and with several different faces. Based on e-ink technology, the Sharp display has a resolution of 144 x 168. Pebble is compatible with iPhone and Android, using Bluetooth 4 to send alerts from the smartphone to the watch. The company says the Pebble has a battery life of seven days and a scratch-resistant lens.

Pebble’s also announced that the watch – which weighs 38 grams – will include a magnetometer, to allow it to work as a compass, as well as ambient light sensors. It won’t, though, include the promised RunKeeper excercise app integration, which is now likely to appear in March. There will be software updates for the device every two to three weeks.

“Also, as many of you have speculated, we can confirm that Pebble uses a magnetic charging cable. This was done to help achieve a 5ATM water resistance rating, perfect for running in the rain, skiing, swimming and washing dishes,” says the company’s founder, Eric Migicovsky.

The company is working on an SDK for developers.