Once Google announced Android Wear, we started to worry whether excellent products from Misfit and Pebble might be toast. Now comes word that they’re building an ecosystem of their own, with Pebble devices tracking steps using Misfit software.
The Misfit trackers are lovely, but have a scant user interface. Pebble watches aren’t bad, but are primarily notification devices tethered to smartphones. Adding a pedometer with Misfit software is a win for both companies; Misfit licenses software and Pebble gets an app that takes it beyond being merely a second phone screen. (There’s an accelerometer in Pebble devices? Yup; that’s how it turns on the backlight when you flick your wrist.)
The companies say this is the “first milestone in an ongoing partnership.” One wonders what’s going on the boardrooms and development labs…
Update: Misfit CEO Sonny Vu gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal, in which he declined to tell the financial details of the Pebble deal. He did say that he hoped the Pebble software would throw off lots of data. From the Journal:
Instead, Misfit wants to collect as much lifestyle and fitness data as possible to help it determine which other non-wearable, tech-enabled products it should invest in developing.
Sounds like a pivot’s coming to Misfit, which has raised $20 million thus far.