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Pebble unveils plans to kickstart smartstrap ideas with its $1 million development fund
Pebble has certainly made some big strides in the wearable space the past few years. With it’s recent announcement of the Pebble Time Steel, the company also unveiled its plans to create something called “smartstraps” – watch bands that can provide additional power, measure your heart rate, and more. Pebble hasn’t actually created any smartstraps yet, but they plan on changing that sometime soon. The company has just announced a $1 million smartstrap development fund that aims to commercialize the development of smartstrap projects for Pebble watches.
Pebble doesn’t quite have the funds to back every cool idea that comes to them, so the company will be pretty selective on which projects it backs. But to kickstart this smartstrap revolution, Pebble will seek out interesting ideas and potentially back the projects they think have potential. So if you have an idea for an interesting smartstrap, build a prototype, put your project on a crowdfunding platform (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc.), and reach out to the Pebble team through Twitter or email.
Not every single project will get funding from Pebble; we’ll use our best judgment to support the most promising and innovative projects. We will determine the level of our support on a case-by-case basis, and may reach out with other kinds of support, such as promoting some smartstrap projects through Kickstarter updates, on our website getpebble.com, and elsewhere.
Pebble has already expressed its interest in a few projects. The first comes from Seeed Studio, who is producing a Pebble Time connector for their Arduino-compatible Xadow modules. Seeed’s Xadow products will offer 20+ strap-sized modules which include NFC sensors, OLED displays, barometers and GPS modules. Pebble also hints at a possible heart rate monitor making its way to the straps in the future.
Next up is a prototype that comes from Spark.io who is working to make the Spark Electron work in conjunction with the Pebble, allowing users to untether their smartwatch and connect it directly to a cellular network. That means you could stay connected with your Pebble while you’re on a run, eliminating the need to have your smartphone with you.
If you have a great idea that you think could make some headway, now may be your chance to make it happen.