Pebble smartwatch reaches $9m: adds Bluetooth 4.0

The Pebble smartwatch that hit Kickstarter under a month ago continues to suck in money from contributors across the world. The total has passed the $9 million mark, and before the backing has even finished, the company behind the watch has said that it will be making a last minute addition to the watch: Bluetooth 4.0 support. That's good news, as the 4.0 standard brings with it lower power requirements.

Of course, the new version will still be backwards compatible with Bluetooth 2.1 and below, but any smartphones equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 (the iPhone 4S and HTC One X, for example) won't see their batteries drained nearly as much thanks to a low-power mode. Pebble says that the watch will have the hardware ship at launch, with the feature being enabled with a software update later on.

While Bluetooth 4.0 will enable the low-power mode later on, Pebble say the primary goal in adding the updated Bluetooth version is to take advantage of wireless sensors to monitor heart rates. There's the added benefit of making the watch somewhat more future proof too, but the company warns that Bluetooth 4.0 isn't a "magic battery extender" and not to get too excited.

There's still 10 days to go until the project reaches its conclusion, and Pebble say the addition of Bluetooth 4.0 won't affect the ship date for the watch, currently due for around September 2012. If you haven't pre-ordered the watch by now, it might be wise to do so: the initial order will be limited to 85,000 units, with 75,000 having been taken already.

[via Engadget]