Montreal startup Neptune killed it on Kickstarter back in December, raising eight times its crowdfunding goal for its standalone Android smartwatch the Pine. With nearly 3,000 backers and over $800,000 raised, the next step for this wearable tech shop is to get the Pine on the wrists of those that supported them.
Earlier this week, Neptune announced that they will be designing and developing a series of wearable computing products in a new partnership they have formed with Pearl Studios Inc. Pearl Studios, also from Montreal, is best known for its work with Misfit SHINE, Singing Machine Home and 360Fly.
“This partnership is a natural fit for both companies,” said Neptune Computer’s Simon Tian. “We share a desire to change the status quo for the better with technology.”
Neptune isn’t divulging any specific details on the new wearable devices that we can expect from this new partnership, but both parties have proven track records of successfully thinking outside the box when it comes to this space, so users can be sure to see some great things when they are ready to announce them.
While Neptune is busy working on some new wearables, users are eagerly awaiting for its first wearable device, the Pine. Neptune originally promised it’s earliest of adopters of Pine a January 2014 ship date. Unfortunately the company has run into some issues with FCC approval, delaying the units.
The company told BetaKit that “because a device with the disparate functions of the Pine has not existed before, there has been a slightly longer process to work through in conjunction with the FCC. We’ve had very positive dealings with the regulator and are excited to reveal the Pine to the world soon.” The team seemed optimistic that they will be able to start shipping later this month.
Unlike other smartwatches like the Pebble, Galaxy Gear and Sony Smartwatch2 which require to be tethered to a smartphone in order to work, the Pine can run completely independent. The Pine does this by using its own micro-SIM which supports any mobile carrier that uses quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and quad-band UMTS/HSPA+/WCDMA which is about 80 percent of the operators out there. This means that texting, calling and data usage on the Pine requires its own plan but does let users leave their smartphone behind when they head out of the house.
In an update to its backers back in February, Neptune confirmed that the Pine will be using Corning’s Gorilla Glass for the device making the watchface more resistant to scratches and wear & tear, which is important for something on your wrist.
For all waiting to get their hands on the Pine, the team at Neptune have given us an updated pic of the device to hold you over with: