Popular exercise tracking app RunKeeper made its Pebble smart watch debut on Tuesday, becoming one of the first third-party apps to arrive on the wearable device.
The app works in conjunction with an iPhone or Android device that’s wirelessly connected to the Pebble. Instead of looking at the phone when running, Pebble owners can glance at their wrist for data such as pace and mileage.
The Pebble watch is somewhat unique for two reasons. First, it uses e-paper technology, which doesn’t use much power to display data on the watch face. Second, it was one of the most successful Kickstarter projects to get funded, raising more than $10.2 million through nearly 69,000 individual backers. RunKeeper was announced as one of the first software partners last year and with Pebble’s SDK maturing, more are sure to follow.
The RunKeeper folks show no signs of slowing their pace. Last week, RunKeeper joined up with the Jawbone UP device via that company’s software platform. And in an email conversation I had on Monday with Jason Jacobs, CEO and founder of the company, he told me to expect RunKeeper to appear on other wearable devices in the future. “Pebble is the first, but won’t be the only. I would expect us to work with other wearables as well in the coming months, on your wrist or elsewhere.”
The idea behind a connected watch app for exercise tracking is a smart one. And I say that as someone who has tracked more than 2,000 miles in the past two years while running with a phone in my hand.
I’d much rather have the phone in my pocket or on an armband for running efficiency. (Ideally, I’d love to leave the phone at home.) The problem with both of those scenarios is that I can’t easily see my real-time running data. Having a second screen for the app on my wrist is far more effective. For that reason, I gravitated towards a Motorola MotoACTV smart watch in 2012. Now if I could just get it to integrate with RunKeeper!
This post was updated at 6:18am to reflect the correct funding amount Pebble raised on Kickstarter.