Mobile Ad Startup TapSense Announces Support For Wearable Apps, Starting On Pebble

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If you’re building apps for the Pebble smartwatch and other wearable gadgets, startup TapSense hopes to bring you into the wonderful world of mobile advertising.

The company announced today that its mobile ad exchange will support wearable apps, beginning with those in the Pebble appstore. You can see a video demo of an ad below.

However, as you watch the demo (as opposed to the mock-up above), you might notice a lack of actual smartwatches. That’s because TapSense isn’t running ads on the Pebble itself. Instead, it’s helping developers target ads at iOS and Android users who own Pebble devices. The company says those ads will link directly to the promoted apps in the Pebble appstore.

In other words, developers will be able to promote their apps through the same sorts of ads used by other mobile developers. TapSense founder and CEO Ash Kumar added that Pebble’s store (where users find apps on their phones, and those apps are then synced with their smartwatches) exemplifies a model where the smartphone becomes the hub for your other wearable devices.

Having that hub is important, he suggested, because “the wearables market will remain fragmented for some time,” without any one device dominating.

To a certain extent, this may be a bit of an experiment, allowing TapSense to explore wearables and giving them a leg up when and if the market really takes off. Looking ahead, Kumar said he plans to support other wearable apps in the same way. He started with Pebble because of its reach and the diversity of apps (more than 3,000).

Kumar also said that, as far as he knows, TapSense is the first mobile ad company to build this kind of Pebble support. (I emailed Pebble for confirmation but haven’t heard back.)

And yes, eventually he’d like to run ads within those wearable apps, too, particularly as they provide an opportunity to deliver real-time, relevant advertising that’s much better than “annoying banner ads.”