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GORGES at Pebble Developer Retreat

Published 10/22-2014

Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky (red hat), Matthew Clark (black hat), and other Pebble evangelizers.

This year Pebble again sponsored me to attend their annual developer retreat, which consisted of four days of presentations, hacking sessions, and interactions with Pebble team members and other independent developers.  This year the event was held at the former Y-Combinator office building in Mountain View, California, with an evening trip to a San Francisco meetup at Rackspace and the next night a private reception at the Computer History Museum (see picture - Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky is in red hat and Matt is in black hat).

As some background, Pebble Technologies is one of the most-successful crowd-funded startup companies, raising $10m in funding on Kickstarter.com.  They built and released the Pebble smart watch, and enabled independent developers to create innovative watchfaces and apps.  I purchased a Pebble in July, 2013, and one of my watchfaces (Fair Weather) was voted best Pebble app in the first-ever poll last year.

At the retreat, Pebble introduced their latest firmware, which includes access to the magnetometer (i.e. compass), ability to add background tasks, and a feature for waking up apps at specific times.  Other presentations included graphic libraries, maximizing battery life, and Bluetooth capabilities.

My personal highlight was an all-day hackathon where we built Bluetooth-enabled robots that had to be controlled by Pebble watches.  The robots were mobile and placed on three-robot teams for a soccer tournament.  I learned much about the "Internet of Things" and foresee how Bluetooth-enabled devices are going to be ubiquitous.

I presented two Pebble apps I worked on:  Earth, which displays a map of your current location, rotated and tilted based on your Pebble orientation;  and Vidiot in which a video can be embedded within a Pebble watchface so that the video plays when the Pebble is tapped or flicked.  Alas, neither of these apps won the best-hack contest, since a clever Pebbler connected a hat with a disco ball and lights so it could be turned on an off using his Pebble.

GORGES has developed Pebble apps under contract for eBay, iControl, Time Warner, and Pebble itself.  We have also created solutions for iControl (monitoring and settings lights, thermostats, and doors) on the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 smart watch.  Our developed apps have been presented at Las Vegas CES 2014, SXSW 2014, and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Author

Matthew Clark Chief Technical Officer
Matthew Clark

Chief Technical Officer

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