Pebble breaks Kickstarter record; Broad dev features detailed

Apr 17, 2012
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E-paper smartwatch Pebble continues to set Kickstarter records, breaking the $3.6m barrier with a month left to run, while the team responsible fleshes out its developer support. The free SDK will be available prior to Pebble itself shipping, with a simulator to test out apps-in-progress; there'll also be a web service so that online apps can send notifications to Pebble without a local app on the watch or paired smartphone being required.

Coders will get "as seamless as possible" an experience hooking their apps up to Pebble, with support for background notifications and processes so as to allow for media playback control even when other apps have the focus. There'll be a native application switcher, and four buttons plus an accelerometer for broader input options.

"We want to make sure Pebble apps can easily communicate with smartphone apps as well as the Internet and cloud based services. So we’ll be creating iOS and Android libraries that enable smartphone developers to push data to a companion Pebble app for display on the user’s wrist, as well as allowing Pebble to remotely control smartphone apps. And we’ll allow Pebble to send data (such as a motion log, or recorded times from a stopwatch app) to a web service via Bluetooth and the smartphone’s internet connection. One more feature that we think is especially cool: we’ll provide a web service so that web app developers can send notifications to Pebble without having to write a single line of code for either the smartphone or the watch itself" Pebble

Previous hardware confirmations included waterproofing - suitable for shallow swimming and wet weather, though not diving or deep immersion - and support for generic 22mm watch straps that will attach to the 50 x 30 mm body. There's no speaker or microphone, but you do get a vibration motor for discrete alerts. The Pebble team actually began ordering components at the tail end of last week.

Still, the big news today is that Pebble is the most funded Kickstarter ever, with over 25,000 backers pledging - at time of writing - $3,623,547. We'll have to wait a little longer before those backers actually get their watches, however.


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