Pebble To Ship Core With Alexa Voice Integration In 2017

Pebble announced Thursday that it will ship its Core clip-on with Amazon’s Alexa technology sometime in “early 2017,” making it the “first fully-mobile wearable” to be integrated with Amazon’s voice assistant.

By John Nassivera | Jun 03, 2016 10:09 AM EDT

Pebble announced Thursday that it will ship its Core clip-on with Amazon’s Alexa technology sometime in “early 2017,” making it the “first fully-mobile wearable” to be integrated with Amazon’s voice assistant. (Photo : Facebook)

Pebble is taking its wearables to a new level, announcing Thursday that it will ship its Core clip-on with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant next year.

Alexa can interpret the majority of commands that Amazon has made available on its Echo devices, allowing users to get daily news updates, buy things on Amazon and shuffle songs and albums. It will also let you control thermostats, lights, locks and other smart home appliances, and you can use it for tasks like summoning taxis and ordering dinner.

While Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky didn’t give details on how Alexa would work on the Core, he did say that the clip-on is the first standalone wearable to get Amazon’s voice functionality because of its connectivity, as its 3G SIM slot comes with the data connection that allows Alexa to work without being paired with a smartphone.

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“Experiencing Amazon Alexa on-the-go right from Pebble Core is game-changing for wearable technology,” Migicovsky said in a press release. “We’re longtime fans of the powerful voice services Alexa delivers, and it only gets smarter and more useful over time. It’s an approach we embrace with our own products.”

The announcement follows only a week after Pebble launched the Core along with new versions of the flagship Pebble and Pebble Time.

All three products are part of Pebble’s new Kickstarter campaign, which is expected to end in June. The campaign has a $1 million goal, and the company has already raised about $10 million with 26 days to go.

However, because of the Core’s connectivity, the two new Pebble smartwatches will not be getting Alexa, as they rely heavily on a phone to work.

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos revealed at Recode’s recent Code Conference that his company has been working on artificial intelligence algorithms for four years and has hired more than 1,000 software engineers to improve Alexa’s software.

“There’s so much more to come,” Bezos said in an interview with Recode’s Walt Mossberg. “It’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Pebble will begin shipping the $69 Core in “early 2017,” and it said that the device’s “infinitely hackable platform” is open to developers.

“The integration of Amazon Alexa into Pebble Core is exciting to see,” Amazon’s Alexa chief Steve Rabuchin said. “By making Alexa Voice Services available for free to device makers and developers, we knew there would be no limit to the innovative uses.”