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Misfit, a startup which makes the Shine activity tracker, will release an activity tracking app for the Pebble smartwatch, which is made by another wearable computing company that got its start through crowdfunding.
Misfit’s activity tracker, Shine, is often worn on the wrist or can also be clipped on a piece of clothing or a shoe. But it lacks a screen, and requires users to look at their personal activity data on a phone. Misfit’s Pebble app will not require additional hardware, and will allow users to track their number of steps and daily activity on their Pebble smartwatch. Other metrics, such as calories burned and distance traveled, will be relegated to Misfit’s iOS app.
Misfit also announced that it intends to eventually license out its sensor algorithms to third-party developers who want to add fitness and sleep monitoring capabilities to new hardware or software products. The Misfit Pebble app is the first result of that program: given that the Pebble has a built-in accelerometer, the Misfit Pebble app works without a Shine activity tracker.
As giants like Google(s goog) and Apple(s appl) threaten to enter the health and wearable computing space, it’s time for the early entrants into the space to accentuate what makes their products unique.
The Pebble watch, for instance, raised $10.2 million on Kickstarter in 2012 and is the only smartwatch currently using e-paper technology, which saves power over the LCD screens Android Wear is expected to use. Misfit’s Shine, which was initially funded on Indiegogo, was one of the first wearable accessories to place an emphasis on style with a design that looks like a piece of jewelry, which set it apart from the Fitbit and Nike Fuelband, the leading trackers on the market when it launched.
The Misfit app will be available on the Pebble appstore later this Tuesday.