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Pebble: mpany releases new Pebble 2, Pebble Time 2 Watches, and first fitness tracker Pebble re ()

Pebble has raised more than $6 million (£4m) to create an updated version of its smartwatch and a fitness tracker.

The company, which shipped its first crowdfunded e-ink watch in 2013, smashed its $1m Kickstarter goal for the new devices within the first hour of its announcement.

More than 31,000 people, at the time of writing, have funded the new devices.  

Sticking with its core brand, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovskya said the company wanted to produce two new watches: the Pebble 2 and the Time 2.

"Pebble 2 and Time 2 come standard with multi-day battery life, water resistance down to 30 meters, and e-paper displays that make them readable indoors and out," the company says. The watches will still be able to connect with both Android and iOS devices.

However, both of the watches are to include significant upgrades on the previous offerings.

The biggest change from the original devices is that Pebble will now focus on health.

Both of the affordable watches – the Pebble 2 will start at $99 (£67), with the Time 2 being $169 (£115) – will now have heart rate tracking included. The company says the monitor will provide an "accurate estimation" of the heart rate on a "periodic basis". 

The move to include the heart monitoring will also integrate with Pebble's latest health app, that it says will monitor steps, calories burned, active time, distance moved, resting heart rate and sleep. It is a shift towards the more capable abilities of the Apple Watch, which Tim Cook has said will monitor more information about its wearers in the future. 

The Pebble 2 will be available in five different colours, including black, red, white, grey and lime green. It will still remain in a plastic case but have its screen covered with Gorilla Glass instead of plastic. 

The Time 2 will have a bigger screen and ditch the plastic. The casing on the watch will be all metal and the company says its screen is 50 per cent larger than the previous Time but will still have a battery life that lasts for ten days.

The Pebble 2 is said to start shipping in September this year with the Time 2 following the device in November.

Away from the watches, but still sticking with the health theme, Pebble is also introducing an fitness tracker. The Pebble Core is a small internet-connected button that will retail at an estimated price of $99 (£67), although those on Kickstarter will get the device for $69 (£47).

Along with the low price tag the fitness tracker, which is being billed as for runners, will also pack in a number of features.

Pebble says the device will have 4GB of storage for music, a headphone jack, and a battery that will last for nine hours while playing locally stored music and tracking a person's location. Wi-Fi is said to allow for Spotify streaming via the device.

"We built Core for a better running experience, to give you the benefits of your phone with none of the inconvenience," the company says on its Kickstarter page.

Core has built in GPS tracking that will monitor a person's run and will provide audio cues about distance travelled and syncs with almost all of the popular running apps. 3G connectivity will be possible by inserting a micro-sim into the device. It also connects with the Pebble watches.  

Pebble says it is ramping up its production facilities but expects the Core to start shipping in January 2017. All three of the new devices will be shipped worldwide with the exception of a few countires including Iraq, Argentina, North Korea and Russia. 

Pebble is also producing a Pebble Core that is aimed at hackers. The device will run Android 5.0 and be programmed to run other applications and processes.

It says: "You can transform Core into a magic button for any use case you dream up. It comes consumer-ready with GPS tracking, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G connectivity, a voice interface, and more."

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