Pebble today made a bold move toward the community that keeps its business rolling: it announced a $1 million fund for the development and commercialization of smartstrap projects.
What this means is that if you have an idea for a Pebble smartstrap, form a team, build a prototype, and put it on a crowdfunding platform, you can contact Pebble via Twitter or email. The company will back the best of all Pebble-related smartstrap projects.
We will monitor Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms for smartstrap related projects that support Pebble devices, and we’ll back the best of them. We truly understand the value of backing projects in their early state, having started that way ourselves. From there, we expect many projects to evolve into products fit for wider release. To make sure we see your project you can tweet your projects to @Pebble or get in touch with our developer experience team by emailing email@example.com.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you will receive funding from Pebble, as it will judge your idea on whether it is promising or innovative enough to get the company’s money.
To illustrate what Pebble is after, the post announcing the $1 million fund highlights two early favourites: smartstraps from Spark.io and SeedStudio. The first conceptual idea is a Xadow modular smartstrap system that includes NFC readers, OLED displays, barometers, GPS modules, and a heart-rate sensor.
The second idea is called Spark Electron, and it could be used to connect the Pebble watch directly to the cellular network. Actually, we’ve already seen a few Chinese watches with SIM cards. This is a similar idea/kit that comes with a SIM card and an affordable data plan.