Hackit: Hackable Bluetooth bracelet?

bluetooth-1

We spotted this odd piece of geek couture on DVICE today. It’s a bracelet that displays incoming calls via Bluetooth and also vibrates. The intended use is kinda interesting, but we wonder what else could be done with it. Could you update it with any text you want by creating fake caller ID messages? You could have your laptop in your backpack and have the bracelet update when it finds an open access point or any other sort of notification. The display shows the word “Connecting” in pictures, but apparently only displays numbers for incoming calls. It also includes a button to reject calls.

Do you have a project that needs a wireless display? Are there other options like this? At $25, this might be worth a try.

Comments

  1. Hellmark says:

    If it was more like a Dick Tracy communicator watch, I think it would be cooler.

  2. biozz says:

    its a bit bulky … slim it up and ill get one

  3. Urza9814 says:

    Hey, I got one of those that just vibrates. It doesn’t work with my phone. I can’t send or receive calls when it’s connected, and it doesn’t vibrate when calls come in – pretty much useless. I’d love if someone could figure out something else to do with the damn thing.

  4. Haku says:

    meh, just get a mobile phone wristwatch, lots have a vibrate function

  5. aaron says:

    And for the 99% of people who think that mobile phone wristwatches are ugly and horrible… that wouldn’t work

  6. tiuk says:

    I know I could easily make it display whatever you want wirelessly, no question. even if its’s just through images since it displays those. it isn’t hard to generate an image based on a string. this isn’t like the e-ink magazine cover that didn’t have segments so it can’t display whatever you want. no problems there.

  7. tiuk says:

    If it was more like a Dick Tracy communicator watch, I think it would be cooler.

    i’m sure it can do any of that, i could probably make it play video if it displays pictures. all it needs is a display that you can show anything on, a speaker, and a mic to make it completely versatile as a communication device of some kind.

  8. TJHooker says:

    we found that by sending an over sized chunk of data that we could over write the asic’s eip and run code on it.

    we made a proof of concept by making one eat it’s owner and open a time portal to the previous 5 minutes.

  9. joe says:

    tjhooker, so it’s x86 based huh? your humour is no good here.

  10. circs says:

    How about we grow up real quick here and make it display an RSS feed kids? Maybe some stock quotes, that would be slick. Or hey, something people would like, you could follow your sweetie on twitter! (Ok maybe that’s creepy, but it’s what twitter’s for!)

    Are we youtube commenters or hack-a-day readers? I’m ordering one up and leaning against it on the sheer principle of the fact that I will do something instead of blabbing my mouth waiting for someone to publish a how to. Hack something you twits!

    I’m going to be using my G1 to drive it because I’ve got a little experience with it and it has bluetooth. So meh, let’s see what happens!

  11. TJHooker says:

    @joe: Nice fail on hatin’

    enlighten me on one processor architecture that doesn’t have an instruction pointer and is susceptible to memory corruption from the higher logic levels?

    You can do buffer overflows on a zilog core and eeprom if the code allows it, go look at the cp/m source code mr.wizard.

    It can be done on internal SDRAM on a application processor or even a DSP or mmu too if the interface logic doesn’t handle data correctly.

    If you don’t like my humor too bad, go back to 4chan with all the hate breed noobs and raid games..

  12. reklipz says:

    @tiuk

    I know I could easily make it display whatever you want wirelessly, no question.

    No question, eh? What happens when the controller is completely proprietary and you can’t read nor modify the firmware? Kinda hosed then…

    What if the screen is so “embedded” that it only has a few signals, one “priority” signal that means display “connected”, and a 4 bit + clock interface that feeds a set of shift registers, only allowing numbers 0-9, and god knows what for A-F? Kinda hosed again, no?

  13. TDS says:

    seems like the text would be a pain to read if you were actually wearing it.

  14. sjc says:

    Don’t think of one way data interchange; think bidirectional. Use it to have your _other_ device detect your presence. Like maybe have it disable your starter on your car unless it connects to this device, or have it lock the doors when it looses connection. If you live in a small apartment (I guess it would have to be _really_ small) have it shut off the lights and turn the heat down when you leave?

  15. fartface says:

    OMG!OMG!OMG! I have have it displaying twitters from my twitter account!

    Or my friends on myspace… OMG! OMG! OMG!

    after digging to real photos of this device it’s crap. built like crap, and from reviews of like devices it DONT WORK because cellphones are designed poorly and when you attach a bluetooth device you cant attach another. so when this is on you’re in a handsfree headset mode without a headset. cant answer calls, COOL!

    Epic fail for a product. hackability <0

  16. strider_mt2k says:

    Well that settles that.

  17. dave says:

    This is kind of begging for a virtual internet sex application. And its bluetooth so no wires run into your pants.

  18. kavius says:

    ID braclet for home automation. Approaching doors unlocks them. Messages from the house can be passed to the individual wearing the bracelet.

    Messages I can think of? “Doorbell”, “Fuel Low”, “Flood”, “Fire”. Alright, so I would likely want something a little more agressive for “Fire”.

  19. tzj says:

    anyone know what Bluetooth profile it implements. I can’t figure out how the thing gets the caller’s number. From what I can see, it doesn’t seem to be included in HSP

  20. James says:

    Certainly an interesting addition for deaf people – bluetooth messaging within a building, vibrating and flash a message to evac.

  21. Doktor Jeep says:

    For a moment I thought it was one of those neck bombs from Running Man.

    I would not otherwise even know where to begin to hack that thing. I’m not the geek around here I mainly just hurt people.

  22. tiuk says:

    hi guys I got a couple responses and decided this would be easier than individually replying. Now I just realized most were not in reply to my post. oh well, here are my responses because i care and take criticism well apparently. I want to share what i know because i have some good ideas and no time to work on stuff like this, so i like to see others do it. it’s why i love this site. i know i could easily learn to do the menial stuff like soldering. i can solder but not well. i have a solid ee background though because it was my father’s career choice, so the knowledge is here, trust me. i won’t say something unless i’m sure of it.

    so, mainly i think the questions were about how i would accomplish “displaying whatever i want”, that was directly quoted. anyway, my background is basically how. i’d use the components to learn to build something. i said I “know” because i was in an overly confident mood last night. i meant i know i have that capability, not that it’s necessarily possible with a proprietary undocumented controller. I think with enough examination it would be, probably an oscilloscope would be needed. i think my dad has an old one somewhere. so that’s why i said i know. sorry if you mistook it. any questions i’ll tell you what i think and can probably give you an idea of how to accomplish it.

    oh and someone said it’d be hard to work in a dick tracy mode. i agree. i was just saying i could probably manage it somehow. worst case it would be a ton of work to examine it, but chances are the controller is documented, i’ve never done this myself but i’ve studied it and it seems like in most cases the manufacturer is willing to share the necessary information. glad the ee community mostly seems to be about sharing knowledge.

  23. Doktor Jeep says:

    Java has an API for Bluetooth, and I have programmed Java since the beginning. Most of my work is at http://www.ravenproject.us.

    If you need anything in Java fro the hack please let me know and I will help.

  24. strider_mt2k says:

    I’m tempted to get one out of curiosity.

    anyone kill a cat with one yet?

  25. dildo baggins says:

    shorter tiuk:

    Yes, I can’t even solder worth a damn, but I do know the word ‘oscilloscope’ and have an electrical engineer father, so you should respect my authority on this and other matters.

  26. YaBa says:

    1 – Reverse engineer the firmware/hardware
    2 – Force it to be always in “standby” mode
    3 – Write some piece of software that “reads” sms, verify if the sms comes from twitter, and send it to the bracelet :D

    What else!? everybody’s connecting something to twitter :D

  27. YaBa says:

    I forgot…
    Make it thinner :|

  28. dave says:

    @tiuk-

    Son? Put that soldering iron away before you hurt yourself. And get off my lawn.

  29. drew says:

    @James
    one question, what good is a phone to a def person?

  30. jesse says:

    Hahahaha, I thought it was a collar at first.

  31. I actually ordered one of these last week, with this very intent.
    @reklipz: That’s not the (or at least, my) idea. Think of it this way: your phone gets the caller ID, as bit of text, and sends it to the device. The device has no idea what the text is. Therefore, if you can write/modify the code on the phone/MID/what-have-you, you can just send it arbitrary strings, which it will display as if they were caller IDs (at least, in theory). We will see…

  32. @my last post: didn’t read the article properly… still… I’ll see what can be done

  33. kavius says:

    @James
    Deaf are the perfect target audience! Why didn’t I think of that? I like it. Now I need one.

  34. Mike says:

    How about setting it to a laptop or desktop and generating a plugin for lcdproc http://lcdproc.org/ so you can get all kinds of information (currently playing song, network stats, whatever). Maybe there’s already a windows app to do something similar? Maybe something like this: http://palmorb.sourceforge.net/

  35. dave says:

    The Sony Ericsson (MBW-150, MBW-200) and Fossil Bluetooth (FX6002) watches all understand simple AT commands including commands to display free-form graphics. They use the Bluetooth Serial Port Profile so they can connect to any external device that can handle serial communications over Bluetooth (Windows, WinMobile, Blackberry, Symbian, Android, Linux, etc.) These are the only wearable remote terminal devices that I know of that you can use without hacking. I can get 15 fps of animation on the displays pushing graphics from a phone over the serial port to the watch.

  36. _ionbladez_ says:

    I honestly think what would be sick is to have it programmed with a name on it, (our own name) – and have it virbrate and display the name of someone nearby wearing the same device.

    I think that’d be pretty sick, in my opinion.
    I’ll get h4xx1ng when I get one.

  37. ryan says:

    i’m kind of stuck in the 80s so i’d happily wear a giant lcd display on my wrist provided i could hack and display anything on it…

  38. Jeff says:

    I just received mine today, and I’ll be looking into it. For the poster that asked about profiles, according to the manual, it supports HSP and HFP. I think you’re right in that HSP to my knowledge doesn’t support callerID, but it probably supports that profile due to the lower-end model, which doesn’t have a screen. I imagine they’re similar hardware – in fact, the package I got actually had a picture of the screenless model on it instead. (It was packaged nicely, by the way).

    @fartface:
    Your post barely deserves a reply, but for the sake of others, I will. I have the device on my wrist right now, and it’s actually built quite well. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than I expected for the money. The metal parts are supposedly steel (not sure), and the band is some rubbery material, similar to some watch straps, but thicker. As for the so-called “epic fail”, I saw the comment you’re referring to, and if it’s even true, then it isn’t a problem for me. You see, HSP/HFP support switching audio to the handset. On a headset, this is normally done manually; on the bracelet, you can accept/reject the call manually, or you can just flip/slide open your phone, and it automagically switches audio to the handset. Please check your facts next time.

  39. Doktor Jeep says:

    man there is so much stuff. bluetooth, sms, smtp, http, hst,ddfi,jasdj,maskdka,iaosdoi,ioirkd……

    aaaargh!!

  40. Typically a device like this supports HSP and HFP. Having a display, it could also support PBAP, SPP or SAP if it supports access to your address book. For those interested in something like this, here is a much nicer one.. http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/26/lcd-bluetooth-vibrating-bracelet-is-a-watch-short-of-awesome/

  41. fantaguy says:

    seriously, i can think of a million uses if u can hack 1, iv seen them for sale online, can sum1 just try and say wat happens, thx

  42. Poo says:

    Scroll this on it:

    ……..
    …….P
    ……Po
    …..Poo
    ….Poo.
    …Poo..
    ..Poo…
    .Poo….
    Poo…..
    oo……
    o…….
    ……..

  43. Kwakwaversal says:

    I’ve got the lower-end version of this bracelet without the LCD.

    I have paired it with my linux box and communicate with it – after binding to it with rfcomm – using perl + Device::Modem.

    After the service level connection initialisation, it’s possible to make it vibrate whenever you want. If I could afford it I would buy this and see if I could do the same, I probably could.

    Having the capability to make it vibrate at will, it could be used for a variety of things like e-mail notification, server problems, irc private messages etc. Without the LCD, you could differentiate between them by make it vibrate a certain amount of times.

  44. pete says:

    so has anyone cracked this thing open yet,
    im thinking about doing it and snooping around
    with a scope?

    Kwakwaversal, what type of bt messages did you send down to the device to get it to vibrate?

  45. Kwakwaversal says:

    Pete, once you’ve completed the connection initialisation via the serial port, you actually just send ‘RING’ to make it vibrate. If you send it in quick succession it actually keeps the vibrate constant.

    There was nothing available to figure this out apart from the specifications from bluetooth.com, but I chanced across a website showing the data too and from a bluetooth initialisation. See logs in the link below:-

    http://osdir.com/ml/telephony.pbx.asterisk.chan_bluetooth/2005-01/msg00015.html

  46. Derek says:

    I’ve cracked this bracelet open and combined it with my arduino. It has a very nice little battery pack in it. I took the battery and wired it to my arduino for standby power. It has a charging circuit with it so it doesn’t overcharge. I was thinking about connecting my arduino to my front door electronic strike, but with the bracelets not so secure bluetooth pin, I probably won’t. I’ve been looking for the battery pack online but cannot find it anywhere. The vibrating motor I’ve found online, but I really don’t need that for anything.
    The battery would be usefull for a project I’m working on. I’d rather not buy a bunch of bracelets just to get the battery from them.
    The numbers on the battery are P401221 and BJ0901.

  47. Derek says:

    I’m working with the screen-less version btw. Some very good ideas above, by kavius, regarding home automation and the bracelet with the display.

  48. Rick says:

    Any luck with evaluating bracelet with display? I’d like to check out the bidirectional capability. Thoughts?

  49. Jeffery says:

    I’ve gotten (almost) arbitrary text display working on the version with the screen. Image here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ffejery/4194631686/
    More details to follow at my blog (linked) once I get a few things sorted out.

  50. The Ffejery says:

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