How Pebble smartwatches are getting a second life

The crowdfunding-funded Pebble smartwatch officially died last June, but a group of dedicated Pebble fans are giving Pebbles second lives, as detailed in this great article on iFixit that you should read.

The Pebble was launched to a Kickstarter record in 2012 because it seemed that it had the potential to be the first good smartwatch. Part of the appeal was that it seemed ahead of its time: it could do things like show you notifications and help you control the music on your phone, which would become bets for smart watches manufactured by other companies in the coming years.

But once the Apple Watch entered the market in 2015, Pebble finished the game. The company was acquired by Fitbit at the end of 2016, and Fitbit finally announced that it would close Pebble's web services, which included an app store, voice dictation, weather and more.

The story of iFixit tells how the "Rebble Alliance", a group of dedicated Pebble fans, developers and former employees, came together to document and save as much about Pebble as they could to reconstruct what would otherwise be lost.

As the story explains, the Rebble Alliance has been incredibly successful. Among other things highlighted in the story, there is now a GitHub that retains an incredible amount of technical information about Pebble, web services (some with paid subscribers!) That replace much of what Fitbit closed and even reverse aspirations. designing Pebble firmware so that one day you can build custom smart watches similar to those of Pebble.

It's a great story, and you should read it on iFixit.

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