Using a micro SIM card, Pine could potentially serve as a smartphone replacement, capable of making calls, video chatting, sending text messages, and more.

With built-in sensors including GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, pedometer, and digital compass, Pine can also function as a fitness tracker, and some apps, such as RunKeeper, are fully supported as well.

Though Pine functions as a standalone smartwatch, it can pair with health monitors and other devices using Bluetooth 4.0.

The computer, which has a substantial 2.4-inch display, is detachable, giving users a full keyboard to type on while browsing.

Pine also includes a front-facing camera with flash for video chatting (and selfies), as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera with flash.

The company is also building prototype accessories for Pine, including a helmet mount.

Prototypes of a clip and helmet mount.

People Really Want This Incredibly Powerful Smartwatch

The newest crowdfunded smartwatch darling is Neptune Pine, which in two days has raised more than $180,000.

If Kickstarter is a barometer for what consumers want to see come to market, then it appears there is plenty of pent-up demand for smartwatches, however bulky and ugly they might be. The latest crowdfunded smartwatch darling is Neptune Pine, which in two days has raised more than 194,000 Canadian dollars (U.S. $184,000).

As a standalone device, Pine differentiates itself from other smartwatches, which connect to smartphones using Bluetooth. Being dependent on that connection means users have to carry around two devices to take advantage of the watch's smart features. "Pine is at the top of the food chain when it comes to smartwatches," said Neptune CEO Simon Tian in a video introducing potential backers to the Kickstarter project. "It's a complete wearable web experience on your wrist."

Using a micro SIM card, Pine has the potential to serve as a smartphone replacement, capable of making calls, video chatting, sending text messages, and more. With built-in sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope, pedometer, digital compass, and GPS, Pine can also function as a fitness tracker. Some fitness apps, such as RunKeeper, are fully supported as well. Though Pine can function as a standalone smartwatch, it can pair with health monitors and other devices using Bluetooth 4.0. The computer, which has a substantial 2.4-inch display, is detachable, giving users a full keyboard to type on while browsing. Pine also includes a front-facing camera with flash for video chatting (and selfies), as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera with flash.

Running on Jelly Bean, which is one OS before KitKat, Pine can also recognize voice input, bringing a very Dick Tracy element to the watch. Having already met its $100,000 goal, Neptune says it will introduce a modern strap design if the campaign raises $200,000 and develop a CDMA version to use with Sprint and Verizon if it raises $300,000. The project funding period ends Dec. 21, and units are expected to ship in January. That deadline sounds a bit ambitious, especially since most Kickstarter projects fail to deliver on time.

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17 Comments

  • Marcus

    Ugly as ever. IMO, this will never appeal to the masses. It only resonates with the geeks who want every feature jam packed into what essentially will be a small mobile phone on a wrist.

  • Asvetic

    It's going in the wrong direction. A smart watch should be a wearable information bridge between you and your smartphone. Something to get quick, and dirty information without going for your pocketed device. Let the watch "watch" your incoming feeds and alert you when you need to interact deeper. Stop being a mindless slave to your device(s).

  • Joe Haven

    The watch is huge. What in the world is the advantage to having a smartphone on your wrist? I can pull out my smartphone and do the same things. Yes, no heart rate monitor, but with a simple accessory I can do that. That thing just looks stupid big on your wrist. Good luck wearing long sleeves or a suit with it on.

  • Anonymous

    You guys don't understand the future, I bet that having a smartwatch will actually be able to be small enough for me to make it sneak into schools and I would still pay 300$ on a smartwatch than having a 2 year contract

  • Neptune Pine

    Hello Sebastian,

    A lot of people are concerned about the battery life. Here are the results of our battery tests:

    8 hours talk time
    7 hours web browsing
    10 hours music
    7 hours video
    120 hours standby

  • Andrei Druta

    The whole point of a smartphone is to give you access to information, well, apart from making calls. Moreover, many people switch from iPhones to android phones because of bigger screens. Hence, in my opinion Pine is going an opposite direction, which isn't right. Why would anyone want to switch to such small screen for browsing, gaming, calling, texting, etc....

    perhaps smartwatch doesn't need to be standalone

  • mcgdesign

    I would never wear something that big on my wrist. They need to use larger people to model it, in contrast to the AM/PM commercials that use tiny people and small vehicles to make their burgers look bigger. :)

  • FreshyMap

    Wish we could fast forward to future generations to see how much the Pine slims down. Way too big right now!