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'Email watches' reach first backers

Richard Towey

25 Jan 2013

A new watch that syncs wirelessly with smartphones, allowing the user to receive emails on their wrist, has started shipping to its first customers.

Yahoo.com says 'Smart watch' Pebble boasts a bluetooth connection to hook itself up to a smartphone before displaying bite-sized alerts through an 'E Ink' screen - similar to the one used by Amazon's popular Kindle e-reader.

Priced at £95, the gadget's release has been made possible through $10.2 million (around £7.6 million) worth of crowd-funding from Kickstarter and claims to be "the first watch built for the 21st century".

The device comes complete with downloadable watchfaces and can power a number of internet-connected apps for users of iPhone and Android devices. Yet despite these boasts, it's the message alert function that email marketing service providers will be most excited about.

Pebble uses a silent buzz to highlight an incoming call, email, message or even social media network update. This means that people can still receive message alerts during important meetings or whilst on the move.

For now, cnet.com reports that Pebble is producing 1,000 smartwatches per day but expects to increase this total once demand has been assessed. The first 500 have already been shipped out to its earliest backers and the makers hope to ship more in the week.