The Pebble Core was set to be one of the most exciting products of the year, but now that Pebble was bought by Fitbit on Wednesday, the Core is no more.
In an email to customers, Pebble said “We are no longer manufacturing, promoting, or selling any new products.”
Unfortunately, the Core hadn’t made it to store shelves before the acquisition, so nobody has it — and they never will.
The Core wasn’t some flashy, expensive device with a super sharp touch screen and crazy processor. The Core was a tiny, lightweight, $70 fitness-tracking device that would let you do a few really unique things — like voice control, and 3G connectivity and on-board GPS to call an Uber sans smartphone.
The Core’s main appeal was its storage for your Spotify Premium playlists so you could play your music offline, without your smartphone. That’s a pretty big deal for runners, and anyone else who ever wanted to listen to music without having to rely on their smartphones.
If you’ve ever gone out for a run with your smartphone, you’ll know how uncomfortable and awkward it is to bring it along. Most people don’t need all the horsepower and functionality of a smartphone for fitness tracking and listening to music, which are arguably the only two features you need on a run. It’s like using an off-road truck that’s hard to park to buy milk at the store down the road.
The Core wasn’t just limited to workouts. It would have played your Spotify playlists any time you didn’t want to bring your smartphone along. Indeed, the most portable device you can use to play Spotify music right now is your smartphone, and that’s surprising considering how popular music-streaming services like Spotify have become.
We can still hope that FitBit uses Pebble’s innovation to come out with a similar device to the Core. If not, other companies and startups, like Mighty Audio, will gladly swoop in to fill that offline-Spotify gap.