Charles River Ventures Partner George Zachary discusses tech bubble, wearable computing, the Secret app, and Apple product development bureaucracy on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.”
Secret is an Apple iOS app that allows people to share messages anonymously within their circle of friends, friends of friends, and publicly. Secret differs from other anonymous sharing apps such as PostSecret, Reput and Whisper in that the app is intended for sharing primarily with friends, potentially making it more interesting and addictive for people reading the updates. Secret was founded by David Byttow, the former technical lead for Square Wallet, and Chrys Bader-Wechseler, a former Google product manager at Google+, Photovine and YouTube.
Zachary believes that Apple doesn’t have a new smart watch because the process of starting a new project at Apple is too bureaucratic. In the Steve Jobs era, if he liked a project idea, then the project was initiated. In the
Zachary has gathered this information from engineers he has tried to recruit from Apple. In the Tim Cook era, employees have to produce a spreadsheet that “predicts” how a much business a proposed project will bring to Apple. Zachary doesn’t believe Apple is best set up to succeed.
The Pebble is a smartwatch developed by Pebble Technology and released in July 2013 that was funded via the crowd funding platform Kickstarter. The Pebble raised $10.3 million for Kickstarter, making it the most successful product ever released by the company. Best Buy, an American consumer electronics corporation, began selling Pebble smartwatches in July of 2013, and sold out within five days.
A Pebble smart watch attached to a bike displays bicycling speed, pace and distance, and of course, the time. The smart watch interfaces with Android or iOS devices using Bluetooth 2.1, and the built in smart watch apps use data from connected smart phones to obtain distance, speed and range information. Golf apps and other apps are available.
The watch uses the FreeRTOS real-time operating system for embedded devices.
The watch is charged using a modified USB-cable that attaches magnetically to the watch to maintain water resistance capability with a “sealed connector.” Battery life is about seven days.
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