Apple Watch Developers at Peel Turn Device Into Universal Remote

February 1, 2016 - 3 minutes read

Apple Watch development has been slowly gaining steam as the release of the Apple Watch 2 in April 2016 creeps closer. Regardless, critics of the device still have a big voice in the wearables debate, arguing against the “convenience” of a tiny computer on your wrist. Aside from checking notifications and narrating text messages, what’s the point?

A quirky Apple Watch startup called Peel seems to think the device has untapped potential, and is betting on it with the release of a new Apple Watch app that turns the device into a universal remote. Paired with a smart device called the Pronto (a tiny IoT device smaller than a cup of coffee) Peel allows users to access a staggering 400,000 models of home electronics from Rokus to DVD players to televisions to audio systems… the list goes on.

The app sports a powerful interface for such a constrained screen space, offering most of the go-to commands consumers and mobile app development companies look to their remotes for including play, pause, volume control, and channel surfing.

While the Peel app is clever and utilitarian in its own right, what’s really compelling about the startup from an entrepreneurial perspective is the use case it illustrates for smartwatches and wearables like the Apple Watch. In past years, the average user had little use for smartwatches outside of saving a few seconds on pulling their phone out to reply to texts. But in a consumer environment that’s increasingly dominated by smart, connected IoT devices, smartwatches could be poised to open up a whole new world of app interactions with household items that would never occur with a regular iPhone or Android mobile app.

Beyond acting as simply a glorified TV remote, Apple Watch developers are excited to see how consumers will react to the idea of using their smartwatch as a gateway to their IoT devices. Paired with the rise of smart assistants like Siri and OK Google, Apple Watch developers have good reason to bet on smartwatches breaking out of the niche category and into the mainstream over the next couple years.

Apple Watch developers and appreneurs curious to experiment with Peel can download it free at the Apple App Store.

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