Enigma Machine Wristwatch

We don’t find smartwatches to be supremely usable yet. This one sets a definition for usefulness. The Enigma machine is of course the cipher process used by the Germans during World War II. This Enigma Machine wristwatch is not only functional, but the appearance is modelled after that of the original machine. With the speckled gray/black case and the Enigma badge branding [Asciimation] has done a fine job of mimicking the original feel.

Driving the machine is an Arduino Pro Mini. We’ve seen Arduino Enigma Machines in the past so it’s not surprising to see it again here. The user interface consists of an OLED display at 128×64 resolution, three buttons, with a charging port to the right and on/off switch on the left.

The device is demonstrated after the break. Quite a bit of button presses are used to set up each of the three encoder wheels. But that’s hardly avoidable when you’re not committing to a full keyboard. We’re pretty impressed by the functionality of [Asciimation’s] interface considering it’s hardware simplicity.

This seems perfect for kids that are proving to have an interest in engineering. They learn about ciphers, embedded programming, and mechanical design and crafting (this is a hand-sewn leather wristband). Of course if you build one and start wearing it into the office we won’t judge.

12 thoughts on “Enigma Machine Wristwatch

  1. Does anyone find the name of that font slightly ironic?
    I was also wondering if it actually had a means of displaying the time.
    Maybe a transmit mode to send Morse code out of the charging port as audio could be an interesting addition.

  2. I too wonder about the point of smartwatches. The only real use seems to be more tracking and a way to get people’s heart rate monitored because you need to trick them into strapping something on themselves for that.

    The other stuff is probably better done in other ways.

    I also don’t think the smartwacth thing will last long, but people are daft so who knows.

    1. Addendum: I expect to soon see sponsored scenes in TV shows with smartwatches in use, and I wonder if professional actors can make it seem usable/cool. Because right now people with those big clunky things on their wrists in an attempt to be ‘in’ just seem silly to me.

    2. I’m still banging around the idea of a wriststrap for my smartphone…
      But as much “banging around” my Timex gets, is part of my hesitation.
      Maybe a wristwatch that also has a OTP (One Time Password) function?

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