Microsoft teams with Pebble for Windows Phone 8-smartwatch integration

Wearable technology has been creating quite a stir, some of it good, but surely not all of it. Pebble was among the first to market — yes, others existed, but it was one of first to make a real splash, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Now Microsoft is looking to get in on the market.

No, the company isn’t making its own smartwatch (it has done that long ago), but working with Pebble for integration. “Turns out in a conversation with one of the Pebble Watch Engineers, they didn’t know that the interface with Windows 8 is similar to the interface they use with the iPhone.  So over the next few weeks I am going to explore the possibility of working with the Pebble Watch”, the company states.

Exploring is certainly different from building and releasing, but it’s a promising start. There is already a sample app for Windows Phone, but it is really not anywhere close to what Pebble customers are looking for.

However the company is looking at greatly expanded functionality, including background tasks, gaming integration, alarms sent to the phone. But the goal the software giant is aiming for is a less intrusive experience. “Just like the Windows Phone, the philosophy is that you use the phone to do what you need, fast, and then get back to living life” Microsoft says.

While not everyone is enamored with this technology, it’s certainly good that Microsoft is considering opening up the option for those who do want to take advantage. It’s one more avenue to utilize that Windows Phone in your pocket.

Update: The Microsoft Technical Evangelist has clarified his statement with the following information — “My previous blog about the Pebble Watch, was MY VIEW, MY IDEA, and was focused on using the Pebble to demonstrate Azure and so forth.  This blog is always my idea I do not get a ‘focus’ document, or talking points or anything from Management or anyone in Microsoft. I am individually working on a demonstration app for Pebble Watch to Windows 8 (or 8.1, who knows?) for use in my job individually because I am passionate about wearable electronics right now”. In other words, Microsoft isn’t working with Pebble, rather the evangelist is working on a demonstration app.

  • StarEy3

    That sounds really cool :D

  • Vương Vi-Nhuyễn – 王微軟

    I really wonder how they’ll do it, I know that Microsoft probably will port Windows Embedded to SmartWatch O.E.M.’s in the future, so something like this is the first step in proving their value in this market again, M.S.N. Direct was a brilliant idea, but in this era of Wi-Fi you can do so much more. :-)

    • Abster

      This was never about a version of Windows for smart watches. It was just one dev looking to build a WP app to interface with the Pebble, because the company itself can’t be bothered to develop one officially for the OS.

  • Joshua

    this is a good thing that MSFT is entering such a thing

  • Mateer L

    would be even cooler if they launched an OS for smart wearable devices, like google’s doing for for smart watches.

    • VinnyH

      They have it already, it’s called Windows IoT(internet of Things)

      • Mateer L

        isn’t that for devices <9". they meant tabs & phones, no specification for weartronics.

        • Abster

          No, WinIOT is not for tablets and phones, it’s for Intel’s new chip that can be embedded in everyday items such as a coffee mug for example.

  • Abster

    “So over the next few weeks I am going to explore the possibility of working with the Pebble Watch”, the company states.

    The incongruity of this should have been a red flag. Clearly the company is not going to say “I am going to do XYZ”.

  • Socal Sam

    Hi, I am the Microsoft Technology Evangelist or Fanboy, your choice that wrote the article referenced. My role is to work with customers. This means I have to work on emerging technology and figure out how to interface Microsoft technology with the emerging technology. Part of my job is to write a blog, which I get to write about anything I wish, there are no rules, really. Ok, there is a rule: Some things I don’t blog about. But I pick which one those are. If I am wrong then my manager will get give me feedback. That’s it.
    So, please, please, understand Pebble watch is something I am, as an individual, working on. That’s it.
    Pretty simple.

    • Abster

      May I ask whether MS has ever approached Pebble or vice versa to explore ways of interfacing with the watch via an official app on Windows and Windows Phone?

  • Socal Sam

    Oh and one more thing, Microsoft does have a watch operating system, it is called SPOT. It was sort of retired when Microsoft built a watch a few years ago, but it was big and ugly. But the O/S is used in the beautiful AND free O/S that you can find at . The idea was that you would use C# to write the program for you watch.