pebble

Pebble, the popular Bluetooth smartwatch that raised over $10M on Kickstarter before shipping to backers in January, today announced the release of an updated SDK and APIs that will allow iOS and Android developers to create apps for the platform. Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky had this to say about the updates:

“The tremendous response we received from Kickstarter backers validated our belief in the value of a smart watch as a wearable computer, but also in the value an open platform brings to truly personalizing the watch to their daily activities”, said Eric Migicovsky, Pebble’s founder. “This new investment will help us build out the Pebble development ecosystem and deliver on Pebble’s extraordinary potential.”

The updated Pebblekit SDK will now allow developers to create third-party apps that will be able to send and receive data to apps on the Pebble smartwatch. The updated SDK will effectively allow developers to build new apps for the platform, for example, taking weather or news information from an iOS or Android app and displaying it on the watch. Previously devs were limited to implementing the basic functions of Pebble.

You might have heard RunKeeper recently added support for tracking data using Pebble and today Pebble is making easier for similar fitness apps to do the same with a new Sports API for accessing the GPS features of the watch. 

Pebble also offered up some stats: The SDK has now been downloaded 8,000 times with around 300,000 unique app installs for the 5,000 apps that have been created thus far. Also, there are about 70,000 Pebbles in the wild since launching in January, while the company plans to hit retail locations within four to six months.

To top things off, the company announced today that it is getting an additional $15M in funding.

Palo Alto, CA. — May 16, 2013—Pebble, maker of the e-paper smart watch that connects to iPhone and Android smartphones, today announced it has received $15M in Series A funding from Charles River Ventures. The funding will be used to grow the software engineering team, expand Pebble’s open development platform and scale to meet customer demand.

Pebble is a highly customizable device, enabling users to download watchapps ranging from creative watchfaces to activity tracker apps. Pebble’s open approach to development is core to supporting a vast selection of apps that meet the unique needs and interests of users – or even enabling users to create something themselves. Pebble’s record-breaking launch on crowd funding site, Kickstarter, confirmed interest in this concept with over 68,000 backers pledging over $10M to make Pebble a reality.

“The tremendous response we received from Kickstarter backers validated our belief in the value of a smart watch as a wearable computer, but also in the value an open platform brings to truly personalizing the watch to their daily activities”, said Eric Migicovsky, Pebble’s founder. “This new investment will help us build out the Pebble development ecosystem and deliver on Pebble’s extraordinary potential.”

Pebble released the first stage of its open software development kit (SDK) in April by enabling third party developers to create watchfaces and games for Pebble. Pebble’s enthusiastic developer community immediately went to work and created hundreds of new watchfaces in just a few weeks. Pebbler supported sites like mypebblefaces.comforums.getpebble.com and watchface-generator.deare focal points of the growing community. Over 8,000 developers have downloaded the Pebble SDK, resulting in more than 5,000 unique watchapps and 300,000 watchapp installs in just over a month.

Today Pebble released the next stage of the platform enabling two-way communication between Pebble and the smartphone at developer.getpebble.com. Known as PebbleKit, the update enables third parties to develop watchapps that send and receive information from a connected smartphone. Watchapps can now  be built to receive weather or traffic information, act as remote controls for a phone or internet-connected device, or display bitcoin prices.  The Pebble platform will continue improving over the course of this year and into the future.

Also launching today is the Pebble Sports API. RunKeeper, a GPS fitness-tracking app, announced support for Pebble two weeks ago and now that same functionality is available for integration into any sports or fitness tracker app. Other sports apps like FreeCaddie, a GPS golf rangefinder, have also released Pebble-enabled apps.

Pebble’s smart watches have begun shipping to Kickstarter backers and are now available for pre-order at getpebble.com.

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