Palo Alto, California-based Pebble, maker of an activity-tracking smartwatch has added continuous fitness tracking and sleep tracking to its smartwatch.
The company also lowered the price of its devices by $50 so it's original model now retails for $99, which is around the price of popular activity trackers including Jawbone and Fitbit. Pebble's higher end device, called Steel, now costs $199.
Prior to the update, Pebble only tracked fitness when an app, like RunKeeper, was open on the smartwatch, but with the new update, Pebble will track fitness in the background. As part of this update, Pebble also announced that they had three launch partners who would take advantage of these new Pebble features: activity tracker maker Misfit, swimming platform Swim.com, and activity tracker maker Jawbone.
Swim.com is a new platform that launched this summer. The website helps swimmers track, share and compare the workouts they monitor with waterproof activity trackers. The platform received 5,000 beta requests within its first 10 days. At the time of its launch, the company had said it planned to add Pebble integration sometime during the summer.
And in June, Misfit, the maker of the jewelry-like Shine activity tracker, partnered with Pebble to integrate its algorithms into that company’s device. According to a Misfit spokesperson at the time, the deal marks the deepest integration to date for Misfit, which also plans to make an open API available to partners in the future.
Pebble also announced that they are expanding Pebble’s retail presence. Until now the smartwatch was available at Best Buy, Target, AT&T, and Amazon.com, but it will now also be available at Sam’s Club, Fry’s Electronics, and Sprint stores.
"When we launched Pebble two and a half years ago, our mission was simple: build the most enjoyable, customizable, and versatile smartwatch on the market at an accessible price," the company's blog post explains. "The market has exploded since then, but our mission remains the same."
Pebble's smartwatch updates were released less than a month after Apple finally announced its Apple Watch which is set to launch in early 2015 starting at $349.