The app will allow police, paramedics, firefighters and other rescue workers to communicate with each other and the head office while keeping their senses alert and their hands on the task.
CommandWear Systems Inc. is a Canadian company that works on making networks of various devices and platforms, which is ideal for emergency services and rescue teams.
Their app’s latest version 2.0 – which also lets the mobile app multimedia features for one-touch photo or video uploads and location tags – adds support for the Pebble smartwatch.
CommandWear app will make use of the Pebble’s two-way texting capability and will alert the user with a subtle vibration. A wrist-worn device like the Pebble is ideal, especially for noisy settings where you can’t hear yourself think, let alone hear radio communications.
The question is: why they preferred the Pebble to Android Wear and others?
The question makes a lot of sense as the Pebble doesn’t have a mic for dictation or any sort of built-in text-authoring tool – so that essentially means pre-written, canned replies only. On the other hand, the competitors support various user-friendly functions for texting including voice commands.
Michael Morro, the CEO and founder of CommandWear explained what made them choose the Pebble:
With the Pebble smartwatch, we have a solution that meets the demanding operational requirements of durability, long battery life and simplicity that all first responders need.
While the Pebble might be at a loss when it comes to text communications, its benefits outweigh the shortcomings, especially when it comes to simplicity, usability, and cross-platform compatibility.
Just as Morro said, the Pebble’s simplicity is the key. It has buttons instead of a touchscreen – which means a worker can easily operate it even when he’s wearing gloves. The same would be impossible with a smartwatch that has a touchscreen interface. On top of that, while most other devices are platform specific, the Pebble works with both iOS and Android devices.
The Pebble is also waterproof up to 5 ATM. So it can be worn even while rescuing drowning people after a shipwreck. What’s more, the e-paper display is more practical and easily readable under almost all sorts of lighting conditions.
Last but not the least, the seven-day battery life of the Pebble sets it apart from the rest. There can be situations where a rescue worker has to work for extended period of time, and you don’t want the battery of your gadget to run out in the middle of a crisis situation.
While private as well as government organizations have always been striving to come up with better communication systems, using a wearable device sounds like a huge leap forward. But could this be the game changing app for the smartwatches? Only time will tell.
Lead image by Nestor Galina