Pebble unveils Pebble 2 and Time 2 smartwatches, 3G-enabled Core running accessory
Pebble on Tuesday launched two new smartwatches on Kickstarter, the Pebble 2 and the Time 2, along with a new accessory, the Core -- aimed at people who want to go running without their smartphone, as well as hacking enthusiasts.Both of the new watches include heartrate sensors, supporting Pebble's recent entrance into the fitness tracking world. The Pebble 2 is thinner than its predecessor, equipped with a microphone, and uses Corning Gorilla Glass for its display cover instead of the first-generation model's plastic. Battery life is rated at seven days. The Time 2 is set to replace both the Time and the Time Steel, adopting the latter's steel body as the only material going forward. Pebble has also increased display size by 53 percent, shrinking bezels in the process, and promised 10-day battery life even with heartrate tracking on. The updated watches also support a framework called Actions, which should allow people to hit a button and quickly launch a shortcut for installed apps.The Core includes GPS, 3G, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi receivers, and runs Android, despite not having a screen. Through basic buttons and audio feedback the device lets wearers track runs, stream Spotify playlists, and send an emergency SMS message with location info. If a person doesn't have Bluetooth headphones, audio can be pumped through a standard headphone jack. The device can also pair with Pebble watches and enable internet access for them. For any 3G use, owners will need a SIM card from a compatible carrier. GPS sync, meanwhile, will be supported in apps by Runkeeper, Strava, and Under Armour Record. Battery life is said to be just nine hours, but the device optionally supports the Qi wireless charging standard for extra convenience. Unusually Pebble is also targeting hackers with the device, offering them a hardware expansion port and early access to an SDK letting them reprogram the Core's two buttons. People might for instance be able to call an Uber, fly a drone, or even retrieve ODB data from a car, the company said. The Pebble 2 is expected to ship in September, while the Time 2 should arrive in November. The watches currently cost $99 and $169 through Kickstarter, but will be priced at $129 and $199 once they officially launch. The Core is likewise $79 now, but slated to jump to $99 when it launches in January 2017.