Hack together your own e-paper smartwatch with this $50 open-source kit

When you’ve ever needed to be like Steve Wozniak and have your personal custom-made, geeky watch, Squarofumi (stylized SQFMI) might have the product for you: an open-source, Arduino-powered smartwatch with a 1.54-inch e-paper display screen (via Gizmodo). It’s called the Watchy, and each the {hardware} and software program are utterly customizable. You’ll be able to, nonetheless, use it proper out of the field, because the PCB acts because the physique and has factors to connect a watch strap. And to prime all of it off, it’s solely $50, on sale for $45 at time of writing.

The SQFMI web site has sections for watch faces and circumstances, however in the meanwhile they each solely say “Coming Quickly,” so for those who’re occupied with this watch, you’ll positively wish to be sure to’re prepared for a DIY challenge. Oh, and there’s additionally the truth that the watch doesn’t come assembled — it’s important to put it collectively your self, hooking the 200×200 show, PCB, and 200mAh battery collectively. There’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 3-axis accelerometer and 4 buttons that can be utilized for navigation, or no matter different features you possibly can dream up.

The Watchy has {hardware} that DIYers could also be aware of.
Graphic: SQFMI

If having to place collectively the {hardware} your self doesn’t intimidate you, there’s one last item to notice: whereas the watch does include pre-loaded software program, if you wish to make any modifications to the watch face you’ll must obtain the Arduino IDE and program them your self.

Whereas some folks could also be turned off by all of the work required to get the watch working, to sure folks the build-it-yourself method implies that they’ll be capable of get precisely what they need. If you would like a watch with a case that appears like an iPod or Recreation Boy, with an interface to match, you possibly can 3D print a case and code the watch face your self. It’s the kind of freedom you’re not prone to get from most business smartwatches, although Tizen and Put on OS watches do provide downloadable watch faces.

The battery life SQFMI estimates is dependent upon your use case — it says for those who’re simply holding time it’s best to get 5 to seven days, however for those who’re fetching knowledge continuously it’s possible you’ll solely see two to a few. Its open-source nature, nonetheless, implies that you might all the time match a bigger battery into it, or try to make some software program optimizations if there are options you’re prepared to chop.

The watch makes use of a ESP32 SOC, which may be programmed with Arduino and MicroPython.
Picture: SQFMI

When you’re searching for this sort of coding/DIY challenge, the Watchy is being sold on Tindie. I’d simply suggest you have a look at SQFMI’s web site to be sure that the amount of documentation available is sufficient so that you can get began.

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