A Look At The Basics Of Building An Arduino Watch

Miniaturization has made smart watches possible, even for the DIY maker to tinker with. For those just getting to grips with basic digital electronics, it can be daunting, however. For those just starting out, [้™ณไบฎ] put together a handy guide to building the core of an Arduino-based watch.

The writeup starts at the beginning, going over the basic hardware requirements for a smart watch. This involves considering size, packaging and power draw, as well as the user interface. The build settles on an Arduino Pro Micro, as it uses the ATmega32U4 which eliminates secondary USB-to-serial chips, helping cut down on power consumption. A square IPS LCD display is used to display an analog-style watch face, and time is kept by a DS3231 real-time clock. A pair of small vibration sensors are used to wake the watch when the user moves their wrist to check the time.

While it doesn’t cover the final assembly into a watch-like form factor, it’s a handy guide on what it takes to build a working watch for those who are still getting their feet wet with hardware. Once you’ve got that down, it’s time to contemplate how you’ll build the sleek exterior. Naturally, a good maker has that covered, too.

8 thoughts on “A Look At The Basics Of Building An Arduino Watch

  1. Pretty cool, love the step by step guide showing selection of components through the build. Unless it’s needed for the program memory space, the Tiny841 or even Tiny85 (if you only need a few IOs) are much smaller than the 32U4, and with the Micronucleus bootloader, can do USB without external components beyond a few resistors. And the M41T62 RTC is drastically smaller than the DS3231 and is about as low power as you can get.

  2. “basic hardware requirements for a smart watch” A watch, not a smart watch.

    “The build settles on an Arduino Pro Micro,” which does not exist. The choice was between an Arduino Pro Mini and a Sparkfun Pro Micro.

    I must say I only subscribed to this website’s news feed about a week ago, but I’m already considering to abandon the site again. The news reporting is so sloppy I have to check the source EVERY TIME to see if you actually tell the truth. Hackaday is extremely unreliable as a source of information.

    1. The project outlines how to select and connect the basic hardware needed to create a core watch that can then be expanded to handle whatever one wants from a smartwatch. As such, it’s not incorrect to state that this is the basic hardware required for a smartwatch.

      As for the Pro Micro, Sparkfun is not the only seller. The board is widely available as the “Arduino Pro Micro”, “Leonardo Pro Micro” or simply “Pro Micro”. It’s really a nitpick to take issue with the use of the Arduino brand name since it’s pretty much used for anything programmable with the Arduino IDE. That’s like the people who take issue with calling it Linux instead of the technically accurate GNU SLASH LINUX!

      If you’d toss away a huge resource over a few minor issues with nomenclature… good luck finding anything that meets your exacting standards!

      1. “this is the basic hardware required for a smartwatch” A smartwatch is a completely different beast. Good luck fitting that in 32 kB of memory.

        And no, there is no Leonardo Pro Micro or Arduino Pro Micro. It’s not nomenclature, the different brands use “pro” and “micro” for boards with different features. Hackaday basically made the same mistake as saying “there was a choice between a Porsche 911 and Corvette Z06 – he chose the Corvette 911”. Is that just nomenclature?

        And which part of my reply gave you the idea that this is the FIRST article with errors? What makes you think that this is the only article that makes me want to toss away this “huge resource”? How useful is a resource of MISinformation?

        1. https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Leonardo-Pro-Micro-ATmega32U4-5V-16MHz-Replace-ATmega328-Arduino-Pro-Mini/222617330422?hash=item33d506e2f6:g:atkAAOSwZbNdAAQX

          https://www.ebay.com/itm/Arduino-Pro-Micro-ATmega32U4-5V-16MHz-Replace-ATmega328-Pro-Mini-Leonardo-USB/382656508005?epid=1042391255&hash=item59181af065:g:bgwAAOSwE~ZcBZKN

          It is nomenclature. The Arduino Foundation might not have designed or sold something called a Leonardo or Arduino Pro Micro, but you can buy products being sold under these exact names. It might not be by the books when it comes to trademarks, but you simply can not say there are no products with these names.

          Not going to continue arguing with you since it seems you’re 4/5ths of the way out the door already. Good luck in your endeavors.

          1. Corvette might not have designed or sold something called a 911 or F50, but you can buy products being sold under these exact names.

            Very wise of you to end the discussion. You made enough of a fool of yourself already.

    2. Check the photo, read the comments, skip the writing. That’s my basic process for these short posts about projects. Sometimes I do read the post and the original source after this. HaD is still great to keep track of “what’s out there”.
      The longer, original articles are usually better.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.