Hackaday Prize Entry: Health-Monitoring Flexible Smartwatch

[Nick Ames]’s Flexible Smartwatch project aims to create an Open Source smartwatch made out of a flexible, capacitive e-ink touchscreen that uses the whole surface of the band. This wraparound smartwatch displays information from the on-board pulse and blood oximetry sensor as well as the accelerometer and magnetometer, giving you a clear idea of how stressed you are about your upcoming meeting.

The display [Nick] went with is called an electrophoretic display (EPD). It’s 400×200-pixels at 115ppi with a 4″ diagonal, and can bend around a wrist. It can draw shapes in 16 shades of gray with a refresh time of under a second or B&W with a faster refresh.

The smartwatch described in [Nick]’s project would be 2.5mm thick — certainly thin enough to fit under a sleeve. We suspect that success of the form factor may hinge on [Nick]’s success in making it not look like a hospital wristband. Although this gives us the thought that a biofeedback-sensing smart wristband is probably the future of hospital stays.

17 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: Health-Monitoring Flexible Smartwatch

  1. According to the website, the prices for this flexible EPD start @ $100.
    Kindle displays are available from time to time for approx. $20. There are projects here on hackaday for controlling those….
    Waveshare has a 4.3″ 800×600 EPD including controller for approx. $60.

    This all is still kind of pricey, but those EPDs enable various applications. This flexible EPD around the wrist looks fantastic.

  2. I like the hospital band look, gives it a nice modern and pleasantly clinical edge. Try and make it swank or gshock and ots not going to look right or stand out.

    Good to see this tech being applied.

  3. Smart watches make perfect sense…. in a world without smart phones. I think it makes more sense sewn into a jacket sleeve or some other large piece of clothing. You can then network it with lots of various sensors, add a larger battery, and do something novel and worthwhile.

  4. Seems to be little more than the concept of using a flexible EPD as a smart band.

    There are already loads of fitness trackers available, for around $25 which use the Nordic nRF51 or Nordic nRF52 series processors, (for which there is a free SDK) allowing them to be re-purposed fairly easily
    (Some are held together with screws and can be easily opened to attach a SWD programmer to install a DFU bootloader etc)

  5. I thought I saw wrinkle and the display looks too white for e-ink. Then I checked the site, the photo is a “Paper Mockup”. The actual display is grayish. I am disappointed that hackaday choose to display a mockup photo instead of the real thing.

        1. The word “MOCKUP” is repeated around the bottom of the band in the cover photo. Follow the link to the project page to see the actual display in the evaluation kit.

  6. Looks good. I’m a fan of the Fitbit HR. Had mine for nearly two years. Stays charged for a week. Unobtrusive and the BT link to my phone means it gives me notifications. This this project can give the same functionality but with the better display used the mock up then I think it’ll be a winner. :)

    I guess cost is the final issue.

  7. Sorry, but:
    >giving you a clear idea of how stressed you are about your upcoming meeting
    aaaannnd? What is the use of this information? Become even more stressed because you are continuously thinking “i have to calm down!!!!!!!!!!” or connecting the watch to your computer and print a medical certificate to give to your boss and go home because of too much stress? Or share it on Facebook? I don’t understand.

    Yes, i’m not a fan of all this “smart” stuff. Usually it only means even more data collection, even more useless electronic waste, even more HF-crap and even more distraction from whats around you, especially in traffic (inside a car or as a pedestrian). Instead of smart watches and phones and fridges i would prefer smart people…
    (Oh and “smart” phones aren’t smart at all. Recently spend half of the night to install an app on a phone without GSM and WLAN. This fu*** thing didn’t even have something like an Explorer (introduced in Android 6 only iirc) and no detailled error messages / logs nowhere. What a piece of crap!)


  8. I really like the idea of being able to carry a list of tasks / reminders for the day or a shopping list on your wrist. Yeah, a smartphone can do the same, but I don’t like people constantly ringing/texting to badger me. Sometimes I just want my time to be *my* time. Aeroplane mode is nice, but I’ve found the constant worry “is someone texting me” a problem. Leave the phone (deliberately) at home and that worry disappears.

    Cost is pretty high. The project page is nice but not much progress. It seems to be just the ‘paper’, the driver and the power supply test rig. The driver is not exactly flexible which could very well be the undoing of a pretty cool idea. To do such a thing properly will either take the one person a long time and a lot of cash, or need a big company to do it.

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