PebbleKit SDK update enables two-way communication for Pebble apps

Pebble released an SDK update today which lets developers create apps that support two-way communication via Bluetooth. While the new software (called PebbleKit) was hinted at before, it represents a major step forward for the platform by allowing third-party developers to send / receive information between the smartwatch and a smartphone. This opens the door to weather, stock, traffic and remote control apps -- among others. Also launching today is the Pebble Sports API which is already being used by two recently announced apps: RunKeeper and FreeCaddie. Since the Pebble SDK was first introduced last April, it's been downloaded 8,000 times and developers have built 5,000 watch faces and games (such as Droptype, RadarClock and Nyan Watch) which have been installed 300,000 times -- not too shabby, if you ask us. Finally, after raising $10 million through Kickstarter last year, the company's just received $15 million in Series A funding from Charles River Ventures. Let the good times roll, right? PR after the break.

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Pebble announces $15M in funding and the next stage of its open platform.

Now with sports-enabled apps and two way communication...

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 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 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 part 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. Pebblersupported sites like mypebblefaces.com, forums.getpebble.com and watchface-generator.de are 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 more importantly, 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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PebbleKit SDK update enables two-way communication for Pebble apps