bble owners were rightfully concerned about the future of their devices when Fitbit announced it was acquiring the Kickstarter-fueled smartwatch pioneer earlier this month, but the newly formed company wants users to know they have nothing to worry about until at least 2018.
In a blog post titled First Steps with Fitbit, longtime bble developer Barlow assured owners that all bble smartwatches will remain fully functional through the end of 2017, Fitbit “is going out of its way” to make sure all connected services are up running. Barlow also outlined how the company is taking step to ensure that that some services remain active in the future.
“No one on this freshly-formed team seeks to brick bble watches in active service,” Barlow wrote. “The bble SDK, Cloudbble, eline As, firmware availability, mobile apps, developer portal, bble appstore are all elements of the bble ecosystem that will remain in service at this time.” As he describes, bble will be updating its mobile apps to be less dependent on cloud services to prepare for the inevitable shut-off. This will make sure that once they are discontinued, core functionality will remain intact.
In an interview with The Verge last week, Fitbit CEO rk shed some light on the motivation behind the acquisition. Despite flagging sales of bs smartwatches, rk believes customers are simply waiting for the right device to come along: “ don’t think there’s been any product out there in smartwatches that combine general purposes, functionality, health fitness, industrial design, long battery life into one package.” Fitbit seems mostly interested in the software that powers the watch, however, it’s doubtful that any new bble-bred devices will be made.
The impact on you at home: bble owners can rest easy. Not only will your e Steel smartwatches work for at least another 12 months, bble developers are taking steps to make sure your watch doesn’t lose all of its smarts once Fitbit pulls the plug.