Pebble updated its website this morning to tease a new model of its popular smartwatch. The announcement is scheduled for 10 AM on Tuesday next week, but Pebble has not specified what exactly is launching. However, multiple sources tell us that a major update to both the Pebble’s hardware and software have been in the works and that these changes could be ready to debut next week. The new watch is said to (finally) gain a slightly wider, color, e-paper-like display that will be encased in an overall thinner design. The screen will still not be touch like the Apple Watch…
While thinner and brighter, the new watch will still include battery life specifications in line with the current models. The new hardware in development also includes a microphone, which could bolster a new series of apps by third-party developers for the Pebble platform, along with Nuance voice recognition software. An improved backlight has also been added to the display.
Heart rate monitor features based on sensors are on the long-term Pebble roadmap, but Pebble’s limited resources will prevent those features from launching anytime soon. “Smart Bands” will be available in the future that can add additional sensors to the watch. The charging and data transfer pins have been moved to the bottom of the device, which now sports a plastic body with aluminum edges.
The new hardware will run a brand-new version of the Pebble watch operating system, which has been redesigned from the ground-up to be “dramatically different” by the team behind webOS. The new software will feature a timeline view that records a list of recent notifications and the entire UI features many new animations. Third-party applications will not go away, but the operating system will turn its focus to alerts and notifications for future calendar events.
The software will run on a new, noticeably faster Cortex M4 processor with a 6-axis gyroscope. The pricing for this new model will come in around the price of the Pebble Steel. We’re told that the new Pebble will be initially sold via Kickstarter, not Pebble’s retail partners or official website. It’s possible that Tuesday’s announcement does not revolve around the aforementioned hardware and software upgrades, but these should still be expected at some point in the near-future.