Pebble Rocks Again: Rebble Hackathon #001

Electronics Wearables
Pebble Rocks Again: Rebble Hackathon #001

The year is 2015. Pebble have just set another Kickstarter record with their new Time model, which in addition to a color display, features a mysterious new “smartstrap” functionality. An exciting hackathon is announced, called Pebble Rocks Boulder, where 75 lucky hardware hackers will get the chance to preview the new smartstrap API, which allows the watch’s existing capabilities to be augmented with additional hardware. I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the 75, and excitedly boarded my flight from Detroit to Denver with several caboodles packed with Arduinos, Teensys, and various other hardware prototyping components (and a box of pop tarts – guess which TSA was most interested in?!). In what I believe was my first interaction with Make:, Alasdair Allan interviewed me over email about the event, Tweeting about our project, and covering our win in a blog post. Just over a year later, however, Pebble Technology Corp would permanently close its doors, leading myself and a rag-tag group of smartwatch enthusiasts to create what would become known as Rebble.

Almost six years have passed since that fateful day, with huge strides being made to keep our beloved watches ticking and thriving, but now we’re launching something new, something well established by our Pebble heritage, yet that we have so far not tackled ourselves: hackathons! With device usage still in the five figure range, an active developer community, and a functioning Developer Portal to allow new apps to be published to the appstore, we are ready to launch our first hackathon! This virtual event will take place over the weekend of November 18-20th. We’ve tried to make it easy for new Pebble developers to get started, and if you’re not a developer but would like to get involved, hop on Discord to see how else you can contribute. So if you’re ready to sign up, just fill out this form, or if you’d like to find out more, check out the dedicated Rebble Hackathon #001 page for more info! 🤘⌚🤘

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David bought his first Arduino in 2007 as part of a Roomba hacking project. Since then, he has been obsessed with writing code that you can touch. David fell in love with the original Pebble smartwatch, and even more so with its successor, which allowed him to combine the beloved wearable with his passion for hardware hacking via its smartstrap functionality. Unable to part with his smartwatch sweetheart, David wrote a love letter to the Pebble community, which blossomed into Rebble, the service that keeps Pebbles ticking today, despite the company's demise in 2016. When he's not hacking on wearables, David can probably be found building a companion bot, experimenting with machine learning, growing his ever-increasing collection of dev boards, or hacking on DOS-based palmtops from the 90s.

Find David on Mastodon at and to a far lesser extent on Twitter at @IShJR.

View more articles by David Groom