Is Your Wearable Tech Too Subtle?


With any con, you’re going to have people walking around with things they’ve built. It’s the perfect venue for wearable tech, and the cream of the crop for HOPE X is [Zack]‘s SmarTwatCh. Billed as a 3D printed big ass smart watch, it’s anything but subtle and has enough gadgets and gizmos to make even the biggest tech aficionado blush

The front of the SmarTwatCh is an authentic 2×20 glass encapsulated VFD running at 160 Volts, chosen for its danger and character. Inside the 3D printed enclosure is a Teensy 3.0, pots, knobs, and switches, a laser, LEDs, and an alcohol sensor because, “the future is quantified drinking”.

‘Apps’ for this smart watch include a TV-B-Gone, laser pointer, breathalyzer, flashlight, and just about anything else [Zack] can think of that would involve a Bluetooth adapter and a text display. Video of [Zack] demoing the watch at HOPE below.


  1. ERROR_user_unknown says:

    That is a sweet gantlet man. future additions will include. Nintendo wii mote capability. GPS locater tazer to go with laser sight. SOC with linux wifi bluetooth hands free. touch screen. EMP teslar flick knife. and ofc what was that other thing again ……. ow watch ;)

    Wicked hack man keep it it.

  2. Galane says:

    It’s a wrist computron, like in Galactica 1980.

  3. FrankenPC says:

    I love this. It’s the kind of thing that inspires kids to dream.

  4. James says:

    Just don’t wear it to the airport… You would never make it past security.

  5. supershwa says:

    With a VFD? That’s tits, man!

  6. Only Takes 4 hours to get into bed with this BRICK WATCH Undoing all the straps on the back of it.

  7. onebiozz says:

    But is it over the top enough? it needs an x86!

  8. strider_mt2k says:

    Approval by Electra Woman and also getting that rare Dyna Girl nod:

  9. Zapro says:

    I think there is a typo in the original Article. The Noritake VFD does NOT run at 160 Volts – it’s not a Nixie-display. The boost-converter runs at 60 volts…

  10. Note how awesome the tactile switches and buttons are, compared to the “pictures under glass” experience of actual wearables.

  11. NiN says:

    Display says “Zack”, his site says “Zack”, and Hackaday says “Zach” .. 1,2,3 times.

  12. Mike Lu says:

    Here’s an even bigger “watch”:

  13. Tomaz Z. says:

    Can you say Pip-boy 3000 ?

  14. Greenaum says:

    BTW, Americans – “twat” rhymes with “hat”. Thankyou.

  15. Trey says:

    This needs a tazer.

    • Maave says:

      The taser can be aimed with the laser.
      Is there a non-trademark name for tasers or has it just become common usage now? “Stun gun” usually refers to the handheld contact weapons.

    • Yours Truly says:

      Zack here. This is by far the most common request, and it’s a cool one. I don’t want to actually weaponize the thing, so I might compromise in a future version by adding a negative-ion generator so I can give electric handshakes.

  16. ThunderBird says:

    I want to replace the laser with one of Artctic models from WickedLasers (2W), and have a laser pointer I can use to point as well as puncture…

  17. freelancer says:

    Very nice watch! On a sidenote, does everybody get their parts from sparkfun and amazon? Don’t get me wrong, i like sparkfun and did order some toys there in the past, but i source most of my stuff from digikey or mouser. For my own projects i want exactly the parts i need on a board, and not some wired together breakouts.

    • Greenaum says:

      It depends, soldering up teeny surface-mount stuff with hundreds of pins, and LCDs on flexi-PCB with no sockets available (in quantities less than 10,000) takes skill and experience. For many of us, it’s easier to pay someone else to do the hard stuff in a factory, and just plug stuff in with the minimum bother.

      You lose somewhat in flexibility, and price, but the prices are still pretty reasonable for what you get. And the alternative is either nothing at all, or sticking with through-hole stuff and gods help us, stripboard. Sparkfun etc just package up the amazing things people are putting in chips these days, onto modules with nice easy pins on them.

      So much stuff nowadays is never intended to be touched by human hands. It’s all packaged for machines that take component tapes. So it’s a valuable service getting it into accessible form.

      It’s a shame, OTOH, that tiny stuff like accelermeters need to waste so much space, putting tiny chips on bigger boards. Maybe a new standard, apart from the 0.1 IDC pins, would be nice. Our fingers could probably cope with a good bit smaller.

  18. Erik says:

    I love that he is wearing a different smart watch on the other wrist :P

  19. RR says:

    I think he is from the movie Back to the Future— or Matrix but he really is the Future!!!

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