Hackaday Prize Entry: Homebrew Smartwatches

The Pebble Smartwatch has been around for years, and the introduction of the Apple Watch has everyone looking at wrist-mounted computing as the newest gadget consumers can glom onto. There was never any doubt the 2015 Hackaday Prize would have more than a few smartwatches.

[Ramon]’s Zerowatch gets its name from the Arduino Zero, as this watch is based off of and completely compatible with the Arduino Zero. With a 48 MHz ARM Cortex M0+, a three-axis accelrometer, a microSD card slot, and a bright OLED display, this is an extremely capable wrist-mounted computer. As with all wearable electronics, the enclosure makes or breaks the entire device, and [Ramon] has a very slick 3D printed case for this watch.

Connectivity is important for smartwatches, and that’s something [Montassar]’s Open Source Smart Watch doesn’t skimp out on. He’s using an STM32F4 as the main controller and a 1.44″ TFT, and adding the standard Bluetooth module — an HC-05 — to the mix. [Montasar]’s project is also tackling connectivity by working on a few Android apps that connect directly to this phone. He’s using the MIT App Inventor to speed up development for these phone apps, and makes custom smartwatch apps a breeze.

Both are great projects, and thanks to free, open source, and easy to use tool chains, both projects are excellent examples of open hardware development and a great entry to The Hackaday Prize.

The 2015 Hackaday Prize is sponsored by:

13 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: Homebrew Smartwatches

  1. Since so many imitate and infuse themselves with the fashion of a century+ ago, it necessary to point out that then they considered it vulgar to wear such on one’s wrist. It’s nothing to have such stuff ruined or snagged off of one’s wrist when doing ordinary expected tasks. Like hand washing or getting a grip on things.

    Things around the wrist=bondage.
    I am infatuated with the wearing of plastic rings-bands around one’s wrist. It seems to have started back in the late 70’s with the Pringles anti-injury ring inserted into the cans of their chips.
    Trash as jewelry.

    1. Men didn’t wear wristwatches because men had pockets, to wear a wristwatch was considered feminine because women wore skirts without pockets and so had no where to keep a pocket watch.
      Wearing rings around one’s wrist for decoration has been common for thousands of years ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bracelet ) it’s not a surprise that we make them from our new wonder material.

    2. As I understand it, the wristwatch was invented by a pilot who didn’t want to bother with a pocket watch, (removing from watch pocket, flipping open lid, closing lid, and re-inserting into watch pocket). He asked a jeweler to solder some metal loops onto a lidless watch and attach a leather strap to fit his wrist.

      As for me, I’m not interested in an Apple watch or a Pebble, I want to strap my Samsung Galaxy S 5 to my wrist like a PipBoy 3000.

      1. I think a small bone-speaker behind the ear might be a more useful addition to the cellphone.
        It could give discreet alerts and info without hindering your hearing or distracting your vision or forcing you to look at your wrist.

        And I’m putting this idea in public domain, feel free to use it apple/samsung

  2. I wonder why Arduino used a 3.3V micro for the Zero. There are many ARM M0, M3 and M4 that run natively on 5V, and are supported by the usual compilers. That would have given owners of 5V based Arduino shields the opportunity to directly upgrade to ARM. It’s only that Atmel doesn’t make 5V ARMs, and Arduino seems to be in bed with Atmel.
    It’s never a good idea to stick to only one supplier, even if you buy millions of chips from them.

    1. Yeah, I’m actually considering upgrading my Uno to a STmicro Nucleo F411. 100mhz, 512k flash, 32 bit, 5V tolerant, AND compatible with mbed and the “shields”! All for $10 + shipping. I actually considered the Freescale Freedom from the other day’s HaD post, but this micro seems to be better. I would buy a Zero, but only if I could use it with existing parts, and if it wasn’t so expensive!

  3. Smartwatch is too mainstream for my taste already. I’m developping my own “stupidwatch” right now with M0 controller (KL27Z), usb, lipo-charger, fuel gauge, ultra low power dedicated RTC, accelerometer, magnetometer, 2 mech buttons, 2x 48 channel pwm-io-expanders and 31 RGB LEDs for the clock display. The board is a 32x32mm octagon shape (1mm thick, 4 layer) and already prototyped. Now i just have to start with the firmware to see how many hardware-bugs i designed into it… Maybe V2 will get some radio or at least wireless charging, but for now i could not pack that stuff into my design yet.

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