DIY Smartwatch Based On ESP8266 Needs Classification

Building your own smartwatch is a fun challenge for the DIY hobbyist. You need to downsize your electronics, work with SMD components, etch your own PCBs and eventually squeeze it all into a cool enclosure. [Igor] has built his own ESP8266-based smartwatch, and even though he calls it a wrist display – we think the result totally sells as a smartwatch.

His design is based on a PCB for a wireless display notifier he designed earlier this year. The design uses the ESP-12E module and features an OLED display, LEDs, tactile switches and an FT232R USB/UART interface. Our beloved TP4056 charging regulator takes care of the Lithium-ion cell and a voltage divider lets the ESP8266’s ADC read back the battery voltage. [Igor] makes his own PCBs using the toner transfer method, and he’s getting impressive results from his hacked laminator.

Together with a hand-made plastic front, everything fits perfectly into the rubber enclosure from a Jelly Watch. A few bits of Lua later, the watch happily connects to a WiFi network and displays its IP configuration. Why wouldn’t this be a watch? Well, it lacks the mandatory RTC, although that’s easy to make up for by polling an NTP time server once in a while. How would our readers classify this well-done DIY build? Let us know in the comments!

20 thoughts on “DIY Smartwatch Based On ESP8266 Needs Classification

    1. I’d be worried about Oracles java actions against android resulting in some getting pushed a dumb down as part of settlement.

      Also yah youtube changes api every couple of years and leaves various devices adrift.

  1. Hey, is it working.
    Immeasurably better than “hello world”.
    When that happens for real, we are seconds.
    Putting on a coat or a backpack will trash most anything protruding on your wrist. Same for reaching into and moving stuff.

  2. Nice. I can see that the ESP8266 makes a nice processor for a smart watch.

    Even better when the ESP32 comes out which, I think, has an RTC and you could sync it to your smart phone over Bluetooth.

    1. Yep, I’m starting to regret that didn’t wait for ESP32. In theory I could connect phone over wifi and write some app for android to control basic functions, but for sure bluetooth would be better solution, and the RTC …

  3. Had a similar idea, but ditched it due to ESP’s infamous sleep mode power draw. Now I see I should not have. It appears that a low-power micro could be used for timekeeping and perhaps polling an accelerometer for wrist position as well as starting the ESP up periodically – esentially a big.LITTLE architecture within a watch :)

  4. Is there a way to mass-produce cctv cameras with night vision and gun turrets, controlled by JavaScript in a forum/login web page? I need human and future AI with facial recognition software to implement a worldwide solution to be proactive/reactive to crime.

    1. Hmm, when I build hardware for this I called it oled wireless notifier, so this could be Wrist Wireless Notifier aka WWN, so let it be WWN, when I put more functions someday I’ll add Smart prefix – SWWN.

  5. I would love a little smd rtc unit on the board. Its just few mm very small. It would give me a complete programmable computer on my wrist disguised as a watch, the first it would be.

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