The high-profile final unveiling of the Apple Watch on 9 March, 2015, has prompted the chief technology officer of wearable startup Pebble to say that Apple still has some catching up to do in the smartwatch space.
Pebble CTO Andrew Witte was at the Wearable Technology Show in London on 10-11 March to talk about the company's latest smartwatch, the Pebble Time, and to discuss the future of smartwatches.
Speaking to IBTimes UK, Witte said: "I'm really excited that Apple is entering the space. The Apple Watch will obviously drive awareness to wearables and get the message out to a wider audience. But a lot of folks will decide that the Apple Watch isn't for them and realize that there are other options out there better suited to them. I'm excited because we're in a good position to take advantage of this."
Witte believes that the four years head start for Pebble has given the company a lot of insight into the expectations people have when it comes to smartwatches.
— Pebble (@Pebble) March 9, 2015
Record Kickstarter campaign
Witte says the reason for returning to a grass-roots platform like Kickstarter for its latest funding round was to re-engage with with the "core community" that supported the company's first product launch.
This community has helped the company to develop its product and while the Pebble Time may not be able to match the Apple Watch in terms of functionality, it does have a number of advantages over its high-profile rival.
"The Pebble has a much better battery life and we've found that the timeline interface we use is the way most people want to interact with smartwatches. The customisable aspect is also important for people, while the price point is obviously a lot less than Apple's offerings, so it's much more accessible," Witte said.
"We've already explored that app-based model and now we've built something a little bit better and more natural for interacting with smartwatches. Our well-established ecosystem means that Apple still has some catching up to do."