Pebble Technology announced a partnership with the Department of Computer Science at UNC as part of the Pebble Education Project, an educational donation program designed to foster creativity and innovation in the computer science and engineering communities.
The project will see the company donate Pebble smartwatches to the Department of Computer Science to be used as educational tools for computer science coursework and projects. As a partner institution, the Department will have the flexibility to utilize donated watches as it sees fit, which could include loaning watches to other departments within the university. Pebble—a team with a large number of computer science and engineering graduates—envisions the program as a key opportunity to give back to organizations that foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity in education.
“This program was born out of a desire to assist educators in engaging students more deeply in coursework related to systems and embedded programming, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Pebble’s open SDK really makes the sky the limit,” says Kean Wong, VP of Software Engineering at Pebble. “What we love about Pebble’s Education Project is its flexibility. Educators are free to tailor their donated Pebbles and our developer tools to best align with students’ educational goals.”
Pebble and the Department of Computer Science hope that students will benefit from a learning environment with real-world applications. Facilitated access to watches and tools for developing app software will contribute to a hands-on learning and teaching experience. Students and faculty developing apps for the Pebble will also add to the rapidly growing app marketplace.
According to Kevin Jeffay, Gillian T. Cell Distinguished Professor of computer science, the Pebble watches will arrive during the Spring 2014 academic semester.
By participating in the first round of the Pebble Education Project, the Department joins computer science and engineering programs at Carnegie Mellon University, Curiosity Hacked, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
The Pebble smartwatch is the result of a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.com. Designed to work wirelessly with a smartphone via Bluetooth connection, Pebble is one of the leading smartwatches currently on the market. The watchmaker has kept its Open SDK (software development kit) freely available to programmers since its release.