pebble Eric Migicovsky

The Pebble smartwatch is almost here. In a jam-packed press conference this morning, Pebble creator Eric Migicovsky announced that it will begin shipping the watch Jan. 23.

I chatted with Migicovsky after the press conference, and he showed off some of his favorite features from the watch.

Migicovsky demonstrated Pebble’s “Fuzzy Time” functionality, which gives you plain language time readings (like “Quarter past five”), and a binary clock watch face. And he showed how easy it is to control your phone’s music with the watch.

It may just be running a black-and-white display, but the Pebble feels every bit as exciting as an ultrapowerful tablet. It foretells a new age of devices that are less focused on killer specs and more about evolving how the devices we already rely on function. While its initial delays led to some criticism of the crowdfunding model, the final product looks good enough to show that crowdfunding could be a viable path for consumer products.