UNC computer science partners with Pebble Education Project

pebbleredwatchthreebuttonside_webPebble Technology announced a partnership with UNC’s department of computer science  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 company will donate Pebble smartwatches to UNC 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.

The smart watch (in addition to telling time) syncs to your phone via Bluetooth and pushes notifications to the watch.

Because the watch syncs with a smartphone via Bluetooth, creative people are figuring out ways to program it to do other interesting things, like sending alerts when they walk away from their phones, tracking them while they run, giving turn-by-turn navigation directions without having to hold the phone in their hands, and controlling music players.

The hope is that UNC 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 semester.