CommandWear and Smartwatches

CommandWear has been working with smartwatches and first responders for over a year. In the many trials we’ve done we consistently hear from our first responders how having a smartwatch gives the following benefits:

  • Tactile feedback – the smartwatch vibrating on the wrist makes it possible to get notification of a message in a noisy environment that would have been missed on the radio or phone;
  • Heads Up, Hands Free – for first responders who need to keep their hands free, a smartwatch lets them see with a quick glance what the message is.

The key for any device is that it needs to provide value for the first responder, but it also has to be rugged and last through at least a full shift (14 hours). That is where the Pebble smartwatch comes in.

CommandWear and Pebble

CommandWear chose the Pebble smartwatch as our first wearable. The reasons we chose Pebble were:

  • Long battery life;
  • Visible in direct sunlight, backlit at night;
  • Rugged;
  • Waterproof to 5 ATM.

We felt that of all the smartwatches out there, only Pebble meets the requirements for first responder use.

Using CommandWear On Your Pebble

If you need to set up your Pebble, installation instructions are found at the end of this page.

Launch CommandWear’s Communicator app on your Android phone if it is not already running. Communicator is always looking for a connected Pebble. Once it sees the Pebble, it will launch the CommandWear app on your Pebble.


Screenshot 2015-02-02 14.36.45

You should see one of the following screens on your Pebble.

  1. You need to be logged in on your Communicator on your Android phone with a valid userid and password.
  2. You are Logged In and ready to go. You do not have any recent messages but are ready to go.
  3. You are Logged In and you have a recent message. The Pebble App goes here right away so you can see the last message sent to you, and if you responded, what the response was.


Receiving A Message

Screenshot 2015-02-02 14.09.52

The diagram shows the various parts of a Pebble smartwatch screen before and after receiving a message. The red indicates buttons that have an action associated with them.

When the user receives a message, the Pebble will vibrate every 5 seconds until a response is sent. There are three buttons on the right of the Pebble:

  1. See all of the message: If the message is too large and you want to see all of it click here.
  2. If there are multiple options for the response, click here to see the options.
  3. The default response: Click this button to send the response highlighted in the bottom of the screen.

After you have responded to a message, the Pebble will briefly show “SENDING…” while the message is being sent. The response that you sent is shown at the bottom of the screen with a √. You can still click on button 1 (top right) to see the original message and your response if they take up more of the screen.

Multiple Responses

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If your system is configured to offer you multiple responses, then you would do the following.

  1. Select the middle button to show the different responses.
  2. Use the scroll up and down (top and bottom buttons) to highlight the desired response.
  3. Use the middle button to select the desired response.
  4. After you are done, the response you sent will be shown with a √.

Connecting Pebble To Your Phone (Android)

Pebble has a great guide for getting your Pebble connected to your phone at this location.

Once you have configured your pebble smartwatch to work with your phone, come back here to get instructions to download the CommandWear Pebble app.

Installing CommandWear On Your PebblePebble 1 Get Apps

Your Pebble smartwatch should now be connected to your Android smartphone. Once you have done this we are ready to move to the next step.

From the Pebble app on your Android phone, select the GET APPS menu item.

Pebble 2 StoreOnce you have done this you will see the Pebble store. In the Pebble store you search for “commandwear” and you will see the “CommandWear Communicator App for Pebble” (pictured). Select the ADD button to download the Pebble app to your Pebble smartwatch.Pebble Apps
Once the app has been downloaded on your Pebble smartwatch, it will appear on the screen of your smartwatch. At this point the CommandWear app is on your Pebble smartwatch, and the Pebble smartwatch is connected to your Android smartphone.