Pong on your wrist


[John] wanted to take a pong clock and put it in a wristwatch form factor. Take an afternoon and pour over his detailed build logs. This multi-year project is done with meticulous cleanliness that makes us jealous. He’s milled the case and buttons himself, achieving a professional look that equals or surpasses the quality of some commercially available “gaming” watches. The project centers around an OLED display driven by a TI MSP430F2013 processor. Don’t miss the video after the break covering prototyping, PCB work, case milling, and the watch in action. Currently, this is the third generation of development but with a project this exciting, are you ever really finished?

[Thanks Chris]


  1. Kyle says:

    Commander Keen is back!

  2. walt says:

    wow. this dude is pretty serious. nice stuff!

  3. yosh says:

    Yay! Commander Keen wrist pong! :D

  4. Eddie says:

    Thats tidy stuff

    Need to get me one :p

  5. nave.notnilc says:

    what’s the battery life like on this? I know the msp430 is a very low power chip, but the backlight display?

  6. monkeyslayer56 says:

    it plays it self :(

  7. Eddie says:

    Needs an accelerometer :p everything needs one :P

  8. Ben Ryves says:

    Beautifully made, but I hope he’s laminated his logs if we’re going to “pour” over them. :-P Glad to see I’m not the only one who thought of Commander Keen, either..!

  9. hecke says:

    great job. next step: add an acceleration sensor :-)

  10. garnser says:


  11. blah says:

    that is the best pong watch ever, an accelerometer would be cool but then the time wold never be right because the time is the score

  12. barry99705 says:

    It’s oled, no backlight.

  13. yuppicide says:

    Awesome watch and I want one!

  14. Dave says:

    I played around with those Pictiva screens as well. Too bad Osram closed up production of them. If you want to be able to make more of these, I’d snatch up the remaining ones I could find…

  15. Gilliam says:

    battery is in the perfect place to destroy the screen cable if it goes bad and detonates.

  16. PocketBrain says:

    Screw holes not tapped? Kapton tape FTW.

  17. Steven says:

    Awesome but, isn’t this a repost? I think ive seen this a year ago on here.

  18. Chartreuse says:

    Does it score on the right side every minute and the left every hour? That would be pretty cool

  19. morcheeba says:

    Thanks for the writeup!! Here’s some answers –

    The first version was pong only, powered by the TI processor on a homemade PCB. The second and third versions are based on a much-more-powerful SiLabs 8051-compatible processor, and it also plays asteroids (and includes an accelerometer, but I haven’t integrated it in to the software yet).

    @PocketBrain – yep, kapton rules! I got the screw holes tapped eventually :-)

    @Dave – Yep, the osram screens went away. I started over with the RIT display, which uses a compatible controller (but is a little bit smaller).

    Battery life is about 1 1/2 days on all the time; I’ve added a sleep mode. When I get the accelerometer working, you should be able to make it sleep just by laying it down up-side down. Either way, there’s a spring-loaded charger stand for charging every night.

    Bonus: the charging port also doubles as a serial port, so, theoretically, you could upload your own code. Haven’t done that, though… progress has slowed since I joined this awesome little startup company.

    Click on my link above to see the asteroids version of the watch in action.

  20. morcheeba says:

    whoops, I meant “click on my name” instead – “mocheeba” – to see the other video.

  21. Jordan says:

    Nice job! A lot of other great projects on his site.

  22. Steve Ballmer says:

    Can’t wait until they can fit an arduino in one of these

  23. Alan says:

    Arduino could easily fit. Just need to set up an ATmega128; Handle the USB stuff on a seperate board.

    Then some tips like these…”use 0.1 mfd bypass capacitors to ground on the AVCC and VCC pins, that gives better noise filtering for the chip.”


    Wonderful thing about the arduino is that it’s open source hardware, feel free to develop your own watch-duino.

  24. Rachel says:

    It would be really neat if you could somehow detect the electrical impulses of your fingers moving to control it. I suppose it would need the sensor higher on the arm though.

    As an alternative to sleeping when it’s face down, how about sleeping until it’s face up, in a position to look at it?

  25. Agent420 says:


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