A new Pebble Time smartstrap has hit Kickstarter, which adds GPS tracking functionality and an extra battery to the popular smartwatch.
The Pal is made by Powerstrap, and is designed for fitness fans which so far have been poorly served by Pebble's line-up of watches. While the Pebble Time has decent fitness tracking built-in, for runners, it's little more than a second screen for a phone.
Powerstrap claims that the Pal will provide 24 hours of GPS tracking, which is right up there with Garmin's biggest baddest watches in terms of longevity. That's thanks to the 250mAh battery, which is also built into the strap, which will power your Pebble for an extra seven days on top of the already superb battery life.
When it comes to workouts, the strap uses its own companion app. That means you can control workouts on the Pebble watch itself, but then review data on pace, speed, lap time and altitude. There's also the usual array of charts and graphs, as well Google Maps integration for showing off the route of your run.
It's not the best looking strap ever, and certainly borders on My First Wearable, which isn't helped by the choice of primary colours: red, white, black, yellow, green and blue. However, it only weighs 65g and manages to be water resistant.
"We are truly excited to support Powerstrap and the development of their Pal smart strap because GPS and extra battery life are the kinds of features that our community has always wanted," said Pebble's founder Eric Migicovsky.
The appearance of Pal reinvigorates the smartstrap movement, which hasn't exactly been buzzing since its announcement with the Pebble Time last year. While a handful have been confirmed, only Seeedstudio's Xadow modular strap has shipped so far, and is certainly not aimed at general consumers.
Let's hope that Pal can put the focus back onto Pebble's superb ecosystem. It's available for pre-order on Kickstarter for $79.
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