Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 18, 2012.

Update #21

Pre-Production Samples + Video

(Can't see the video? Click here to view it on Vimeo)

Things are moving fast in Pebble land. We're progressing rapidly through our Engineering Verification test stages. We've been spending a lot of time in Asia working with our manufacturing team and the various vendor factories that are supplying parts for Pebble. Two weeks ago, we did a sample build of Pebble with the full assembly line. The output of that sample build was a few of the first assembly line manufactured Pebbles!

Note:

Pebble is not in mass production yet. These sample Pebbles are from an early pre-production test build. We only turned the assembly line on for one day to test the process.

One of the first Pebbles off the test assembly line. Check out the video above for a closer look!

A view of the test assembly line

Soldering the battery to the main printed circuit board (PCB)

David (tall guy from Dragon) examining the vibrating-motor-into-case assembly process

You can view the high resolution versions of all these images and more in this album.

Roadmap

Environmental Testing

Now that we have more complete sample Pebbles to work with, we're beginning environmental testing. This means putting Pebble through its paces and seeing how the hardware holds up in a variety of everyday (and not so everyday) conditions. Here are just a few of the tests that Pebble is undergoing:

- salt water test
- water proofing test
- UV aging test 
- Drop test  
- Twist test with bands 
- Lens impact test 
- abrasion test 
- button reliability test 
- tension pull test with wrist straps installed 

Antenna testing

We can confirm that the issue we were having with the antenna (Update 18) has been conquered! The latest samples have vastly improved range and meet all of our requirements. Originally, our design included a chip antenna (similar to this), a simple antenna that's easy to use. But after testing back in August showed degradation of the signal inside a test Pebble, we redesigned the radio-frequency (RF) path. We switched to a custom-built antenna solution that uses metal traces positioned to be higher above the bottom of the watch, allowing the RF signal to be clear of water-filled cylinder that is a human wrist.

2-3 test builds remaining before mass production

Before we get into mass production (ie manufacturing all 85,000 Pebbles), we have several more test builds to complete. A test build is when we get the whole assembly line into place and manufacture/assemble a batch (normally around 50-300) of Pebbles. These test builds give us the chance to test the end-to-end manufacturing process, catching problems, testing new solutions and eliminating bugs. These are our major opportunities to revise and fix any problems with the design or manufacturing process, so we're being extremely diligent and careful. 

Testing different variations of batteries, vibrating motors and backlight modules

For example, we have several different vendors lined up to provide components for Pebble like the vibrating motor, battery and flexible printed circuit (FPC). In these test builds, we are qualifying each vendor's components and making sure that they are suitable for us to use. Having multiple vendors available for high risk components allows us to switch one component out for another in mass production if issues or delays arise with that specific part.

Color Pebbles

Check out the video to see a few samples of the color Pebbles. We aren't happy with the precise colors, so we're still working on tweaking the plastics. As soon as we're happy with the colors, we'll post high resolution photos in a future update.

T-shirts giveaway!

Here's your chance to get one of our cool 'Meet Pebble' t-shirts that I was wearing in the video. All you have to do is tell us what you're planning on doing with your Pebble ("Checking email while paragliding" or "Skipping music tracks from the bath tub" or even "Writing an app to control the sun..."). Post your answer in the comments section below. We'll choose our 10 favourite answers and give the responder a red or grey a 'meet pebble' t-shirt (their choice).

Thanks again for backing us, Pebblers!

Eric + Pebble Team

Comments

    1. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Chris Walker on October 11, 2012

      i can't wait to finally prove to my 3 year old that I actually am a magician and can control my phone with my mind!!

    2. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Breland Dru Miley IV on October 11, 2012

      I will use my pebble to continue to ignore phone calls from my future mother in law, but now without looking at my phone.

    3. Missing_small

      Creator Aaron Maxey on October 11, 2012

      I plan to check my texts while I am in meetings all day.

    4. Missing_small

      Creator Andrew Keyes on October 11, 2012

      I plan to use it to prolong my phone's battery life by not having to pull it out and turn the screen on every time it chimes.

    5. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Alex Johnson on October 11, 2012

      I'm going to use it as a giant screen HDTV for the smurfs that live in my sock drawer.

    6. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Gabe Nisker on October 11, 2012

      I will be using Pebble to listen to music without having to pull out my phone, while I'm in outer space (for obvious reasons). Nah, just kidding. I'll use it mainly for hands-free purposes, such as controlling the music, checking texts or emails, and maybe even for the occasional jog or swim.

    7. Davewcaricature%20(427x480).small

      Creator Dave Warren on October 11, 2012

      I will be using my Pebble to prove, once and for all, that I'm the geekiest geek of my geeky friends.

    8. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator J.b. Freels on October 11, 2012

      I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

    9. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Darren Hackett on October 11, 2012

      My pebble will get me back to running ... It's a motivator! I'm so excited and will be able to proudly strutt around the UK showing off the beauty of remote control

    10. Missing_small

      Creator AJ Penninga on October 11, 2012

      I'll write and app that will use mine to tell me when my t-shirt arrives.

    11. Missing_small

      Creator Steve Jones on October 11, 2012

      I plan on finally wearing a watch again after about 10 years of letting all of my watch batteries run out due to lack of use and hassle replacing batteries, and having to fish my phone out of a pocket.

    12. Dominic-hodgson-large.small

      Creator Dom Hodgson on October 11, 2012

      Planning on writing an app to show me my karting lap times (hooking a raspberry pi up to a receiver and sending the data to the iPhone / Pebble via bluetooth)

    13. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Pontus Madsen on October 11, 2012

      I will just rock it.

    14. Kineteka%20sq.small

      Creator Kineteka Systems on October 11, 2012

      I plan on using my pebble to alert me to traffic problems ahead while driving.

    15. Missing_small

      Creator Robert Diamond on October 11, 2012

      I want to be able to walk away from the microwave oven without a) forgetting that there's something there, or b) having to stay close enough to hear the beep. I will be writing a system that checks the clock via a camera (I'm too chicken to open the case), and buzzes me when there's say 30 seconds left on the timer.

    16. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator David Laker on October 11, 2012

      I will be using my Pebble for.... Ignoring annoying phone calls in meetings without having to take my phone out of my pocket!

    17. Portret.small

      Creator Thijs Bastiaens on October 11, 2012

      I'll be using Pebble for a project that' im working on that helps kids with a mental disability to keep track of their day (autistic kids & down syndrome kids), it will sync with their iPad schedule.. And it's gonna be awesome.

    18. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Clifford Torng on October 11, 2012

      I will be using my Pebble . . . as a window into my digital soul.

    19. Missing_small

      Creator Stephen on October 11, 2012

      I would use it to... make an app to nuke my hard drive on my server at home if my phone doesn't get used for a few days.

    20. Me2013_06_07.small

      Creator David Sica on October 11, 2012

      Hoping for a Nike Fuelband/Fitbit replacement!

    21. Juarez.small

      Creator Joey Daoud on October 11, 2012

      Checking messages when it may be socially unacceptable.

    22. Chase.small

      Creator Chase Sillevis on October 11, 2012

      I will use my Pebble as a glorified watch, ofcourse :-)

    23. Aj.small

      Creator Allison Joy on October 11, 2012

      I plan on using my Pebble to check and respond to text messages while riding my bicycle and being fashionable all at the same time.

    24. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Lloyd Decano on October 11, 2012

      I will use my Pebble to control my PhotoBooth Project that I will be building in the future.

    25. Missing_small

      Creator Patrik Åkerfeldt on October 11, 2012

      I'm going to control all the lights at home, directly from my Pebble, as well as monitoring sensors like humidity and temperature.

    26. Missing_small

      Creator Justin Paine on October 11, 2012

      Checking mail so I can respond to customers while riding Bart (San Francisco) and dodging clueless tourists.

    27. Missing_small

      Creator Steve Gere on October 11, 2012

      I volunteer at my daughter's elementary school during recess. I plan to use my Pebble to help teach digital kids how to tell analog time (using a digital device.)

    28. Moon.small

      Creator Threemoons on October 11, 2012

      I will be using my Pebble for....checking callerID without having to take my phone out of its holster on my messenger bag, in order to keep my AM commute serene!

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