At a recent Pebble-themed hackathon, one of the teams created a pretty cool device called the TimeDock Sleepeasy.
It’s a gramophone inspired docking station for your Pebble Time smart watch. And it’s not just a 3D printed mount — nope, there’s an Arduino inside! The team’s plan from the beginning was to make an interactive docking station for the Pebble that would allow it to talk to you without actually pressing any buttons on the watch.
It was rather tricky getting the Arduino Uno talking to the Pebble, but once they figured it out they had a lot of options for interaction — they ended up using an ultrasound sensor so you can just wave your hand at the TimeDock and it would tell you the time.
It’s kind of interesting how they set up the two devices to communicate. The Arduino sends a request to the Pebble for the time, and the Pebble replies with the time, and a request to say it. The team pre-loaded a bunch of .WAV files on the Arduino for various other notifications on the Pebble — when the Arduino sees what type of notification it is, it plays the appropriate .WAV file.
The whole hackathon was about making use of the SmartStrap interface which the newly released Pebble Time watches have — the basic concept is with this new piece of hardware, you can design and build your own SmartStraps to add extra functionality to your smart watch — like a heart rate sensor, GPS, etc. Not quite open source — but getting there! Now you can develop your own app… and hardware!