Last chance to enter The Hackaday Prize.

We’re *this* close to a real Pip-Boy

Whether inspired by the vaults of Fallout or the mysterious wrist device worn by [Turanga Leela], we’re just glad to see someone finally made a wrist-worn cellphone,

The Ultimate Wrist Watch, as the creator [Rob] calls it, is based on his Motorola Defy smart phone, tucked inside a neatly modified iPod wrist band meant to hold a runner’s music player. Simply mounting a cellphone to a wrist would be a bit awkward and a huge drain on battery life, so [Rob] wrote an app to automatically turn on the display when the accelerometer detects the phone is in the correct watch-reading position, and turns it off when [Rob] lowers his arm once again.

Right now the Ultimate Wrist Watch only stands in for the functions of a standard wrist watch – time, date, a chronometer and stopwatch are just about the only features implemented so far. Still, this is dangerously close to the wrist-mounted computers we’ve been promised for so long.

You can grab the source for the Ultimate Wrist Watch on [Rob]‘s git, or just download it off Google Play. Check out the video of the Ultimate Wrist Watch after the break.

Comments

  1. agg23 says:

    I’ve been wanting to build a similar system for quite a while with the old iOS devices I have lying around. Any idea if a jailbreak app could do this same thing (access the accelerometer while sleeping)?

  2. xorpunk says:

    remembers seeing holders like this sold somewhere..

  3. Mental2k says:

    I’m not normally one for negative criticism, he’s put a phone in a case that was designed for the phone. Then put the case on a slightly different part of his arm than intended. I once taped my Sony Ericsson phone to my iPod, should I have submitted it to Hackaday as a home made iPhone?

    On a plus note the app looks pretty.

    • Mike says:

      I just got an amusing mental image of you with an iPod nano duct-taped to your arm

      • Pup says:

        At least it’s not attached via magnets embedded in your skin. D:

      • John says:

        @Pup
        Are you referring to those lame geek-posers (self-described as robot wannabes) that were featured on the Verge for their “body modifications”?

        Poser #1: “Dude I’m an android! I have a magnet under the skin in my finger!”

        Poser #2: “Dude you’re so cool!!1one!”

    • I hereby claim copyright, trademark, and patent rights to HipPhone. You put your phone in a holder on your belt. Revolutionary idea, no?

    • Mental2k says:

      Lol, I went through about 2 rewrites of that comment, one was about using duct tape and an iPhone, the other was about belt clip cases making people look silly. I feel vindicated.

      • Corrosion says:

        I agree… what the hell HAD?

        Do you have so little interesting things you need to put stuff like this up?

        Don’t get me wrong, the guy had an idea and made it happen.. Good for him but……

        This isn’t HAD worthy..

    • barry99705 says:

      @Corrosion
      Get to working and submit your hack then.

      • Greycode says:

        I am agreeing with Corrosion on this, putting a phone in a phone holder and putting it on your arm, not really all that impressive. At least if they had used duct tape then maybe, but this is nothing.

      • metalwolfhax says:

        Sorry barry, we didnt know stuff like this is HaD worthy. I should take photos of the velcro on the back of my cellphone, the back of my laptop, netbooks, and both my work and personal jackets on the wrists. I have been using my cellphone as a mini computer at work to play music, check the time, and look up IDs (I am a security officer) for a while now.

    • RobB says:

      Yes it’s simple, but that’s sort of the point. Sure you could do something similar with an ATTiny connected to a serial lcd to make it a more “worthy” hack, but that’s a lot more work for something with less functionality. With Android devices getting cheaper by the day, you should always ask yourself, can I accomplish this hack with Android? The strap took a few minutes to mod, but the App took some time to get right. My hope is this will inspire other Android cyborg hacks :)

  4. dbear says:

    The pocket protector of the future. Geek Chic.

  5. crashsuit says:
  6. 404PageNotFound says:

    This would be interesting with an iPod nano 7th gen. A good amount smaller, nice pixel density, great looking screen, and thin. If only we could jailbreak it. Any other smaller ‘watch’ type android devices (other than the MotoActv)? I’d rather not have all the phone components, I already carry one of those around.

  7. Haku says:

    Thought I’d try it on my Nook Tablet for a laugh, but all I can get out of it is the settings screen, no clock display.

    • Haku says:

      Somehow the clock display appeared on my tablet, it interferes with the sleep function of the device, and doesn’t quite work on my tablet as the sleep button overrides it and the app can’t bring the unit out of sleep mode. Now uninstalled.

      • Nova says:

        It interferes with the sleep functions because it is constantly needing to poll the accelerometer to figure when to ‘wake’ the screen. Even though it’s always awake otherwise.

        Also it’s not going to work on devices that don’t know their orientation.

      • RobB says:

        The watch will only come on when the screen is OFF ( I should have made that more clear). This is so the clock does not pop up when you’re using another app. The app must hold a partial wake lock, its not possible to do this otherwise. To help save battery the app will detect if the device has not been moved for a very long time (e.g. left in the car) and will go into deep sleep. Turning the screen on manually will restore the partial wake lock.

  8. JustCurious says:

    Just wondering why this is special compared with the Motorola ACTV SmartWwatch.

    You root it, and your Dick Tracey.

    http://hackaday.com/2011/12/27/rooting-a-motorola-actv-android-wristwatch/

    It can communicate VIA WiFi, bluetooth, ANT+, FM. Similar to the phone but, NO ONES going to check your wristwatch…

  9. n0lkk says:

    I’m reminded when digital watches became affordable to the point they where sold in variety stores not the jewelry stores. LED displays that couldn’t be seen in the sunlight, and telegraphed your presence indoors. That’s the only drawback I see with the SiFi cartoon futuristic watch style made here. Give the attacks a rest. The App shared here is the build. With Halloween coming up it is a timely blog entry.

  10. supershwa says:

    Ancient news – for years companies have been experimenting with OLED wearable phones; a nice concept because the screen can actually bend and conform to your wrist.

    I wouldn’t run (or walk) with my Galaxy S3 wrapped up like that — I’d be terrified of my $700 phone flying into the air, destructively landing on the sidewalk, or even scraping the screen against a hard surface as I brush by.

    I’m somewhat surprised to see this here — HaD is just showing off Turanga’s first Android app … a clock!

    Might as well put a few “Hello World” code examples up…

    cout << "Hello World";

    echo "Hello World";

    alert("Hello World");

    print "Hello World!";

    System.out.println("Hello World!");

    MsgBox("Hello World!")

  11. Ryan7777 says:

    Seeing this actually implemented kind of points out why this would be a bad idea. Even if I did always love the sci-fi wrist computer / nuke idea from such classics as “Predator”. I have had so many watches with scratched or busted cystals because I’m always banging my arms off of things. And if you have to work with your arms inside, well, anything, this would get to be annoying really fast and would probably be destroyed in the first day. Not to mention you would notice the weight of this thing tugging at your arm constantly and end up with forearm strain, probably. and watching p0rn on it? Eye strain. Googles glasses or goggles is the way to go i’m afraid, then contact lenses after that, then come the brain implants.

    • Haku says:

      Brain implants are scary, not the physical aspect of having one installed but the content industries lawyers – they won’t want you sharing memories with other people that have copyrighted content in them. Oh and governments will probably want in on them too…

  12. SuperNurd says:

    I duct taped my phone to my sunglasses once, does that make it a google glass like hack, should I submit it? Save this crap for instructables and filter what “hacks” go up here more!

  13. Michael says:

    Inserting Android phone into arm holster and running a clock app based on accelerometer = HackADay-worthy?

  14. Arliem says:

    Haters gonna hate.

  15. Riley August says:

    Matteo (spiritplumber) built one of these up as a cosplay thing for a sci-fi convention to go with his vault suit, in about half an hour, and skinned it as a pip-boy. This is not news.

  16. ajford says:

    What I wanna see is something that’ll do room mapping like the ‘real’ pipboy. I’ve seen some interesting stuff using Kinect (Kintinuous was one), but that’s not exactly portable… unless you like funny hats.

  17. echodelta says:

    In a day of Edwardian elegance, pocket watches stayed secure. The very idea of a wrist-watch was seen as perverted and ugly. Then the fashion fascists prevailed and we accepted the absurdity of smashing a watch against everything within reach. Just to sell more watches. In the cell age wristwatches are nothing more than the fashion industry’s last grasp at your arm. In a work environment like stocking inventory this setup makes sense. Come 5 o’clock, rrrip off it comes.

    • Ren says:

      IIRC, the wristwatch was developed by a pilot, who had a jeweler solder loops on his pocket watch to hold a leather strap. This “fashion accessory” allowed him to know what time it was without taking a hand off the controls.

  18. mynameismud says:

    I dont need to do this.. my Timex Datalink usb is the absolute pinnacle of wearable computing! there is nothing advanced than playing Tetris or Snake on a <1" watch screen, in glorious 1bit colour! and incredible lo-res graphics!

  19. Rykaro says:

    Can he tell how much ammo he has left on it?

  20. draeath says:

    So what happens if you’re not standing upright? These accelerometer tricks are neat, but without a companion device capable of determining your own orientation relative to the device, they will have problems.

  21. Jordan says:

    So can someone tell me what’s so special about this? I have done this with my iTouch for a long time now. I snagged it for less than a Raspberry Pi, and now I essentially have an rPi, battery, 4-inch multitouch screen, wifi, bluetooth, mic, speaker, and a few programmable buttons, all with a ridiculously thin form factor, attached to my arm.

    So how, exactly, is this a hack? Or is the point that he hacked the case’s original use?

    **soo confused as to why this is special**

  22. justacommstudent says:

    Why is this special? I have owned at least four watch-phones over three years. They’re hard to lose and cheap to boot. This is the one I’m wearing now.http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Steel-Watch-Phone-Silver/dp/B00501M426/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1351140250&sr=8-8&keywords=watchphone
    It’s not an android, but it has a camera, fm radio, video player, web browser, mp3 player etc… it’s big but it is probably more comfortable than what I’m seeing here.

  23. Jacob says:


    is my build

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