Smartwatch maker Pebble aims to be a lot of things to a lot of people, and today it’s deepening its appeal thanks to a new partnership. The hardware startup is teaming with another young gadget company: Misfit, maker of the smart activity and sleep tracking wristband Shine.
Misfit has created a Pebble app for the smartwatch that can track a user’s activity – independent of any companion smartphone software. There are others on Pebble’s app platform that offer this kind of functionality, but Misfit’s unique algorithm and hardware business make it unique among providers of this style of Pebble tracker.
The Misfit app for iOS will also be launched soon, and will add support for Pebble watches, as well as tracking more information like calories burned and total distance. That means this is a deep, two-way partnership, with Misfit allowing Pebble to stand in for its own activity tracker wristband hardware depending on a user’s preference.
This is yet another example of wearable techmakers looking to consolidate their efforts with common and shared platforms. Others like Jawbone and Nike who originally seemed content to silo their businesses have also begun to offer APIs and developer endpoints so that makers of other apps and hardware can play in the same sandbox. It’s a good way of trying to expand a potential user base with perceived added value.
Pebble calls this “the first milestone in an ongoing partnership” with Misfit, so it’ll be interesting to see just how far the arrangement takes the two. A lot of the medium-size players might be looking around for targets of M&A opportunity as Google and Apple extend their efforts around wearables, health and activity tracking, after all.