BlackBerry is extending the roots of its successful cross-platform instant messaging app, BBM to a new platform. With significant growth and popularity of wearables, BlackBerry found the need to bring its messenger app to smartwatches.
The Canadian tech firm demonstrated its messenger on an Android Wear smartwatch at the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 this week.
By adding support for Android Wear, BBM users can send, receive and preview messages from their smartwatches. It's easy to go through messages and dismiss notifications with a single swipe. Using Google Now, users can also respond to BBM messages by voice-typing or sending pre-defined messages. The integration keeps BBM users from frequently taking out their smartphones to check new messages and reply to them.
"The integration of BBM to support wearable technology is just one way we're expanding the capabilities of our portfolio and delivering exciting options for customers to easily access BlackBerry's cross-platform technologies," Herman Li, Senior Vice President, BBM Engineering and Product Management, said in a statement.
BlackBerry is looking at the bigger picture here as the wearable smartwatch market is likely to explode this year. In a recent report by research firm Canalys, annual smartwatch shipments are expected to increase more than 28 million units this year and over 60 million by 2017.
BlackBerry's decision to support Android Wear is the next logical step as it jumped out of its exclusivity club back in 2013 by bringing BBM to iOS and Android platforms. It has since grown massively and serves nearly 90 million monthly active users as of last September.
After demonstrating BBM on Android Wear, company execs also revealed that the actual consumer release is expected to happen soon in "early 2015," Engadget reported.