Pebble is putting up $1 million to support Smart Strap development, here are a couple of early prototypes



Pebble’s introduction of Smart Straps for the Pebble Time no doubt delighted technology fans everywhere, but how is Pebble going to develop public interest and incentive for developers to create them? Their answer was made clear recently: a $1 million fund to help turn developer ideas into reality.

Pebble has issued an open call to any and all developers interested in making smart straps to put their projects up on crowdfunding platforms such as IndieGoGo and Kickstarter. They’re willing to throw money your way to help you reach your project’s funding goals and eventually get your smart strap to market.

They’ll be monitoring the popular crowdfunding sites to find projects on their own, but you can also get their attention via Twitter or [email protected] just in case. Pebble was quick to  note that they can’t and won’t promise to fund every project that pops up, so you’ll want to make sure you have a really good idea to get them to open their wallet (and you’ll also probably want to convince them that you actually know what you’re doing, so try to have a solid plan before doing so).

That said, they have suggested they can help in other ways such as highlighting projects to give them more exposure through Kickstarter updates, social media and their website.


With that, Pebble has revealed two of the earliest smart strap concepts to have spawned. One is from Seeed Studio and their Arduino-based Xadow modules. They offer small modules for NFC readers, OLED displays, GPS and even heart rate sensors. These will be available for developers and manufacturers as development boards to use in prototyping smart straps without having to spend a ton on reiteration and R&D.

spark electron prototype

Second is a prototypical module from Spark.io that can add cellular capabilities to the Pebble Time and use it without the aid of a smartphone. The picture above obviously isn’t indicative of what a final product might look like, but the idea is very interesting and we hope they’ll be able to stuff all of that inside a strap enclosure with some good engineering work. What kind of smart straps would you like to see for Pebble Time? Sound off below!

[via Kickstarter]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Looks great, but this looks better:


    Works with Android, iOS and Window Phone. 30 DAY battery life, waterproof to 50m, notifications and fitness tracking always on screen, available in round and square versions and visible in direct sunlight.

    Also looks like a “proper” watch and has a range of straps and bracelets, plus will take any 22mm regular strap.

    1. The “vector watch” simply looks like a watch – there’s no gallery of apps or anything. Who cares about a basic watch?

      1. You want apps, yeah they have apps…


        And a pretty neat looking phone app for installing them.


        Oh yeah, and they’re shipping their own fitness tracker not relying on 3rd party support. It’s like a Pebble steel, but one that’s better looking and has been to the gym…

        1. I don’t actually see apps, just the name of stuff. What does the “cnet” app do?

          I love the idea, don’t get me wrong, but I want more than a basic time keeper. I want to see how it handles notifications, phone interactions, etc.

          1. You wanted a gallery of apps… I gave you one….

            Now you want to see what the apps do! Maybe wait until it’s released. As for handling notifications, etc. go read up, it’s all out there.

          2. You showed me a photo of what could be vaporware for all I know. If this company wants us to spend over $300 on a smart watch, they need to show us more than that. A video tour would be a start.

            Pebble executed their marketing perfectly, and they are reaping the rewards.

          3. You can pre-order or wait until they release the watch for sale and buy one from a store or online. In the CNET video they are hands on with working prototypes, so they are about as vaporware as Pebble Time at this point!

            Looks to me like a Pebble for grown ups…

          4. Did you see the cnet video? The “apps” were a super-basic step counter and calorie counter.

            Pebble has been around fir years and there are thousands of apps you can use today.

            Vector is a nice looking watch, but that seems to be it.

          5. Yes, I saw the video, what apps do you use on your Pebble now?

            I use the super basic compass and the super basic Fitbit app, along with the super basic stopwatch and the super basic music boss. Since they clearly have an API , I’m sure there will be more apps along, but they’ll all be super basic – that’s the point of the Vector and the Pebble – if you want to poke your screen all day, you pickup your phone. For very fast (or super basic ;-) interactions, you do it via the watch buttons).

            To me, this is the direction (styling wise) Pebble should have gone with the Pebble Time. Instead they’ve aped the Apple Watch and in plastic it looks like a toy, in metal it looks like a Hong Kong Apple Watch knockoff.

          6. I agree that the Pebble isn’t the best looking watch, but it’s a good device for a killer price. I’m using my wife’s Pebble right now (maybe about a week), but the screens messed up and we are waiting for a replacement. I’ve only got a few apps as I prefer to keep it only for notifications vs. a phone replacement.

            I do have the “gallon challenge” app, one called Canvas (for making your own custom watch face – killer app!) and a timer one, but Runtastic “just works” without installing anything on the watch. Haven’t tried the Fitbit app, although I do have a fitbit.

            I haven’t worn a watch in maybe 7 years, so this is new to me, but it really saves time on having to constantly pick up my phone or take it out of my pocket to check notifications.

            I have been holding off the new Pebble Time because I’d rather get a revised version (early adoption isn’t for me) at a lower price point. I may pick up another original pebble once it goes back on sale, since it’s only around $99 right now, and does exactly what I need it to do. I don’t mind the geek factor – luxury watches attract too much attention IMO.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if Pebble offers a luxury model at some point.

      2. They do have apps. Take a look at this review on CNet: http://www.cnet.com/products/vector-watch/

  2. My next smartwatch

    1. haha nice, “Smart Ring”

  3. I’m actually loving my 360. Dunno if I’ll be switching soon or not.

  4. Smart straps have potential but I still think things should be built in to the device, due to potential wear and tear. Pretty much Pebble can’t do it themselves so they’re having the public do it. I think only strap batteries can work, and Wear needs it badly. Modular can only work on phones as there’s less potential damage.

  5. Pebble should have offered 1 million to a developer to design the watch itself, not for bands to attach to it. I truly respect Pebble as a company, but the Time is by far the cheesiest looking smartwatch released to date. Yes, the Time Steel is a drastic aesthetic improvement over this, but being so isn’t even slightly challenging. The Time looks like something that was “won” during the late eighties/early nineties from one of those $0.50 claw machines in an arcade room. There was no need for this to hit production unless it was meant for children, and the price doesn’t really reflect that.
    And why is the typical 1-2 day charge time of other smartwatches not adequate for some people, do you wear your watches in bed while you sleep? Personally, I’ve always taken off my watch before going to bed. I’m completely fine setting my smartwatch on a dock, or plugging it in, at the end of every day. How long does plugging in a smartwatch actually take, 5-10 seconds? I’ll gladly give up 10 seconds each day to wear an aesthetically pleasing watch, rather than wearing a happy-meal-toy lookalike for 8 hours+……

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