Last month, the Pebble
smartwatch project was the darling of Kickstarter, raising $3.7 million in mere days
; at this moment, the project is poised to top the $8 million mark at any time.
Amid the swooning the Pebble devs are no doubt experiencing, the group is finding time to strike deals with other developers. The group announced that the first app partner for the the Pebble smartwatch is RunKeeper. RunKeeper, which is available on both the iOS and Android platforms, helps athletes track fitness data during workouts, and with a user base of 10 million, it’s both a lucrative partnership for the Pebble team and a sensible use of the device, which can display data from the app so a user can check his stats with a glance at his wrist. Users will also be able to wireless control the app via the Pebble.
Presumably more partnerships are in the offing, which will certainly bolster Pebble’s standing while the company works on releasing an open SDK this August. The SDK will open the door to native app development for the smartwatch, and the Pebble people are betting big on it; the group is planning to launch a watchapp directory later this year.
The device boasts an E-Paper display for easy viewing in sunlight, and with a cool design, lots of grassroots fundraising, and some strategic partnerships, Pebble might just have a winner on its hands. It doesn’t hurt that the thing actually functions as a watch, too.
Pebble Announces RunKeeper Will Build First Watchapp
RunKeeper Data Will be Displayed on Pebble’s E-Paper Display And Runners Can Now Control the App Without Ever Having to Touch their Phone
PALO ALTO, CA – (May 2, 2012) – Pebble, the revolutionary smart watch that will display and interact with apps on your iPhone or Android device, today announced it’s first app partner will be RunKeeper, one of the most successful mobile apps ever that makes tracking workouts fun, social, and easy to understand.
With this app for Pebble, RunKeeper’s in-activity fitness data will be shown on Pebble’s E-Paper display, which looks great indoors as well as outdoors under direct sunlight. Runners, cyclists, hikers, walkers and skiers will be able to use Pebble to wirelessly control the RunKeeper app, eliminating the need to remove the phone while on the go. Pebble even makes it possible to pause or skip music tracks right from the watch.
“Making the RunKeeper app accessible from Pebble is another step towards making fitness tracking simple for our users.” said Jason Jacobs, CEO of RunKeeper. “People don’t just want to track their fitness activities, they want to do so in the most convenient way possible, and you can’t beat the form factor of a smart watch.”
RunKeeper has more than 10 million users, and it was one of the highest grossing health & fitness apps in the iPhone App Store in 2010. It is available on both iPhone and Android.
“We welcome RunKeeper to the Pebble app family and we’re flattered that they are our first app partner,” said Eric Migicovsky, of Pebble Technology. “One of the most exciting things about Pebble is that anyone will be able to build apps for the watch, which is going to result in new capabilities and functionality that we haven’t even thought of yet.”
Pebble will release an open software development kit (SDK) in August, enabling even more applications to be developed for the Pebble platform. A watchapp directory will be launched later in 2012 to provide a distribution method for all Pebble apps.
Consumers have already registered their interest in Pebble with more than 53,000 individual backers on Kickstarter, the crowd sourced funding platform. The project was posted on the Kickstarter platform on April 11 and since that time backers have pledged more than $7.5 million towards Pebble.
Pebble is the first watch built for the 21st century. It's infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watch faces and useful internet-connected apps. Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones, alerting you with a silent vibration to incoming calls, emails and messages.