Crowdfunding star, Pebble, just got an exciting new feature added to its popular smartwatch: home automation. Enrico, of new programming blog Makr.co, has managed to put the freshly released Pebble smartwatch SDK through its paces and has squeezed out an alpha version of one of the first truly useful open source apps for the smartwatch. The app is tentatively called SmartHomeWatch.
On June 29, 2013, Pebble released an official software developers kit allowing programmers to begin delving into the smartwatch’s potential. Since then, a flurry of less than stellar digital watch faces have flooded internet software repositories, such as mypebblefaces.com, finding a sea of new Pebble smartwatch owners anxiously awaiting anything of note to load onto their new devices. However, until now, the apps presented by developers have not been very useful, offering only proof of concepts and the most rudimentary features.
Now comes a new app, SmartHomeWatch, offering the first glimpse of the utilitarian capabilities of the fledgling smartwatch and its highly anticipated ability to control a user’s environment. Software companies, such as Perceptive Automation and Crestron, have been offering home automation software for years that allows environmental control and home automation from users’ computers and smartphones. Such software is fairly mature and has been tweaked and perfected by home automation technophiles for years. Although this software has not been ported to a smartwatch … yet … a fairly strong and vetted roadmap for home automation software has been created which should make the journey for app developers, such as Enrico, easier.
SmartHomeWatch is being developed by Makr.co’s Enrico by combining Pebble’s SDK “with some juicy python examples” and a ETH-RLY16 ethernet relay board. Although strictly an alpha at this point, SmartHomeWatch opens the door to instilling into the Pebble smartwatch some truly useful and sought after technology. Several futuristic smartwatch concepts, such as Zach King’s 2019 iWatch video, have anticipated the ability to control one’s environmental settings, open locks, and manage home automation systems right from your wrist. SmartHomeWatch is the first step in that evolution and we can’t wait to see how the Pebble developer community builds upon this innovative foundation.
Despite its overwhelmingly successful funding campaign, the Pebble smartwatch project is still in its infancy. The majority of complaints arise from the lack of available software to propel the gadget from gimmicky status into the realm of “must have” technology. SmartHomeWatch is one of the first utilitarian apps to emerge from the open source community and definitely flaunts Pebble’s possibilities … something that is important both for the Pebble and for the emerging smartwatch market as a whole. We fully expect to see great things arising from the developing masses in the near future as proficiency and experience with the SDK improves. So down some more Red Bull and keep coding people … we want to see something amazing!
Jon is the Editor-In-Chief at Wear Guide and writes about wearable technology On Your Arm. Jon has a M.S. in Computer Science, won several intercollegiate events as a member of the UCLA Cycling Team, and is currently active on the USA Triathlon circuit which provides him the opportunity to field-test wearables under grueling conditions. Jon also writes for our sister publication Electric.guide.
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