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I made a smart watch from scratch (imgur.com)
1451 points by mnem 22 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 216 comments



Here’s the Reddit thread with more feedback from the creator[0]. Amazingly gets a week between charges[1]

[0]https://old.reddit.com/r/DIY/comments/bivyok/i_made_a_smartw...

[1]https://old.reddit.com/r/DIY/comments/bivyok/i_made_a_smartw...



Thank you for including old in the reddit url!


If you use https-everywhere, you can just make a custom rule -- click "Add a rule for this site" in the extension popup and fill this in:

  Matching regex
  ^https://www\.reddit\.com/
  Redirect to
  https://old.reddit.com/


What does adding "old" do?


Disables their recent redesign and reduces the amount of javascript and bullshit that comes with the update.


You'll get the 'old' design. Check with your "private mode" browser :

- https://www.reddit.com/ - https://old.reddit.com/


Interesting those have not only different designs but also different stories for me. I prefer the old one.


Shows post using the older site design I believe.


My first reaction when I read the title was to complete the sentence in my mind: “…and it sucks”.

But I'm very glad I was wrong in my scepticism. This is freaking amazing on so many levels.

Edit: It’s been a while since I’ve been so excited about a project. Now I can’t work just thinking of taking a month off to play with this thing :)


Do it! What would you build if you take a month off?


Not OP, but I wouldn't currently be able to build much of use, so I'll probably be busy learning.


Not OP, but I would build a better CRM. The present solutions are far from intelligent.


I am also very interested in this. Mind sharing some of your ideas?


In a month? CRMs have very large feature sets these days


We haven’t solved homelessness, poverty, cancer, or war. We don’t have self-piloted flying cars. But for about $90 in parts, one person can design, manufacture, and build their own bespoke smart watch. Humans have made truly remarkable progress in some very specific ways.


Although unfortunately not solved, we've made great strides in regards to child mortality, extreme poverty, war, violence, health, freedom, literacy... If you could choose any point in human history to be born, you'd be best off choosing today.

https://www.gatesnotes.com/Development/Max-Roser-three-facts...

https://ourworldindata.org/a-history-of-global-living-condit...


I think William Gibson say something like, "The future is here it's just unevenly distributed."

We have made great strides, but in the U.S. social mobility is lower now, life expectancy is down, so if you have to be born to a poor family, being born earlier might be better.


If you had the power to choose when to be born, you might also have the power to choose where to be born. In which case you might want to choose someplace other than the U.S.


There are few better places for social mobility than the US. If you are poor, but smart and ambitious, being in the US is the best thing that could happen to you.



The metric used here is an incorrect metric of social mobility. It compares father-son income correlation (which depends mostly on inheritance taxation and many other factors), while a better idea would be to compare the percentage of high achievers who started from humble beginnings.



Indeed, US education system is somewhat strange, to say the least. However, all these metrics are almost designed to present the US in bad light.

How about "the percentage of millionaires who were born in a poor family"? I bet this is where US shines. Rich people in most other countries are mostly from old money.


Denmark. Consistently tops ease of doing buisness and social mobility charts.


I used to live in Denmark. Ease of doing business -- well, there are good things (streamlined and transparent bureacracy) and there are bad things (taxes make you uncompetitive, especially if you plan to hire people). Access to capital -- can't even compare.

Regarding social mobility -- well, you can live a good life in Denmark, but living great life is different. Janteloven is still very much a thing.


That's not what social mobility means. Social mobility is the relationship between the wealth of parents and the (eventual) wealth of children.


How would the world be today if the government pulled all the brightest engineers off working on optimizing advertising tech at FAANG companies and paid them equally to solve these larger societal problems such as homelessness, reversing climate change/pollution, solving cancer, creating unlimited nuclear energy to replace fossil fuels, terraforming Mars for the humans, etc? I can only wonder... Thoughts?


Not significantly different to how it is today. Potentially much worse. It's solipsistic to think that more engineers and software developers would help with some of these social problems.

Sociology, economics and politics are difficult, valuable and all too often completely overlooked by people who have the luxury of being able to solve for x in their day job.


I suspect you'd make more progress on those particular problems by funneling the same amount of money into paying all the lobbyists to stay home and play Fortnite.


You'd be better off redirecting a portion of the funding that supports their work to people with actual expertise in the fields you mentioned. Particularly when it comes to solving social problems, many of which we have answers for that aren't implemented because their expense is politically untenable.


I think that's a horrible idea. It would lead to a lifeless, technocratic society.

In many ways we've already tried that, for example in urban planning, and it failed miserably.

For a counter point, as applied to urban planning, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_and_Life_of_Great_Am...

Social problems are best solved from a grassroots perspective, and they require negotiation, compromise, and HN hates this one, wait for it... politics (both official politics, and everyday interpersonal politics.)


Most people don't want to live on Mars. But they do like soap operas. If only people would donate their Netflix money to cancer research and donate the time saved from not using Facebook to do voluntary work.


It would be... dystopian. A lot of the work we do at FAANGs or similar startups is designing (i.e. manipulating) people into doing what we want them do. Imagine Obama or Trump having all those people and technology working to advance their agenda. That’s not a country I’d want to live in, even though I voted for one of those people.


I like the book "The Rational Optimist" by Matt Ridley which covers a broad range of topics like these.

Some observations are quite surprising, for example using coal and then oil for energy replaced huge amounts of manual labor and might have eliminated slavery, deforestation and hunting whales for whale oil.


> Although unfortunately not solved, we've made great strides in regards to child mortality, extreme poverty, war, violence, health, freedom, literacy...

What great strides do you think America/the developed world have left to make?


A book that echoes the sentiment: https://www.amazon.com/Enlightenment-Now-Science-Humanism-Pr...

It's an amazing read as well, much like Pinker's other works.


Homelessness: unsolvable in a society where it is illegal to force someone to take care of themselves (by being sheltered). The west has decided that individual freedom is worth the cost of some people using it to choose to be homeless. I think this legal framework will make it impossible to solve homelessness.

Poverty: It is now known that there is a rising gulf between subjective and objective well being. A majority of millionaires do not think they are rich. I think this psychology will make it impossible to solve poverty.

Cancer: Entropy/cosmic rays scrambling DNA... I think thermodynamics will make it impossible to solve cancer (as in, all cancer) for everyone (very rich with DNA repair therapy in the medium/near future).

War: Actually living now in the most peaceful time in human history as a % of humans in conflict. I think the human desire for power/wealth (again, back to poverty) will make it impossible to solve the zero war scenario. At least nukes scared everyone from the big wars so far :)


> Homelessness: unsolvable in a society where it is illegal to force someone to take care of themselves (by being sheltered). The west has decided that individual freedom is worth the cost of some people using it to choose to be homeless. I think this legal framework will make it impossible to solve homelessness.

This may be philosophically true, and probably even technically true in practice, but I suspect the vast majority of homeless would prefer better shelter than they currently enjoy. For whatever reason, these people have failed to attain better shelter within our societal system. Some people blame the system for letting these people down, other people blame the individual for not having what it takes to "make it", but I don't think you can call this a choice unless you call failure a choice.

Given that, there probably are things we can do to "solve" the vast majority of homelessness, so don't give up just yet. The few people that then legitimately choose to be homeless will probably be so scant as to be barely noticed by the rest of us.


> Poverty: It is now known that there is a rising gulf between subjective and objective well being. A majority of millionaires do not think they are rich. I think this psychology will make it impossible to solve poverty.

I'd argue (and I'm not a millionaire) that being worth less than 10M isn't really that rich. A long-term pet peeve of me is that most people don't realise how poor they are, if you treat everything as being relative.

For most civilians, access to wealth and being able to access debt (and leverage) is tied to house prices, and a lot of house prices in high-paid areas are beyond the reach of most people. Thus, by extension, access to wealth is not easy for most people.

Trying to have access to wealth AND having at least one stay at home full-time parent? Even harder to achieve in this day and age. People born between the 50s and 80s basically were able to both get on the wealth ladder AND afford for one parent to dedicate themselves full-time to parenting their children.


Poverty versus homelessness is an interesting cognitive reframing of the same fundamental problem.

War, meanwhile is a scalar concept of the platonic idea of conflict in general, between two individuals, but scaled up and beyond the scope of individuals to transcend to rival collectives.

So, cancer. Unsolvable for absolutely everyone, although it can be solved for some, but then dancing around the issue of wealth again.

Here’s where I’d like to stop for a moment, and dispense with the conceptual curveballs being tossed around, because now with wealth as a requirement for diamond sure shots against cancer being accessible only to the wealthy, we’re right back onto the homelessness/poverty concept.

I’m going to cut to the chase: the words “illegal to force someone to take care of themselves” is an extremely misguided framing of what homelessness is. Almost to the point of willful deception. That ain’t what homelessness is.

Okay, sure. You’ve got psychiatric, fractured people walking around in circles, and lead a horse to water, do no harm, you’re idea of compelled assistance is my idea of a cage, and what about all the sociopaths who might game the system like blood sucking parasites. Healthy people need not be beset by the lampreys of willful destruction and self destruction.

But.

The U.S. Marshalls and/or the town sheriff’s department will trot on up to my door with cuffs in hand, and guns drawn, within 45 days of my bank telling someone that I haven’t scored enough paper points to pay tribute to the monarch of my roof. So, under threat of violence, not only is the degree of luxury stripped from my permission to simply exist comfortably, but perhaps I land in a cage. A real cage, not a conceptual economic cage of taxes and regulation. A cage shared with some of the fractured psych cases that might fracture me to match their proclivities and better suit their surroundings.

So, poverty. Back to wealth, yes? Points scored on paper, retained by banks that publish scores to highly available, networked computer databases for live transactions and batch processing.

We’re rapidly approaching a situation where electronic systems, computer software, and related hardware applications will obviate human effort in a wide array of scenarios. Transportation, anything involving sorting, organizing and distribution, rote fabrication and assembly; much of that can be automated, with or without magic decision making buzzwords for the edge cases that are currently mechanical turked with brute force data entry by humans in the loop.

This reorganization, centralized around advanced electronic systems of record and authority will drastically improve efficiency, to simultaneously create surplus and idle humans in one stroke, or many, many concurrent strokes, struck within a very fast, short span of time.

Now, broken humans, stupid humans, evil humans, and even just plain old humans, mediocre, unfuckable, and aged out; such a chore to be around and listen to. Why do anything for anyone that can’t charm your pants off? And then, there’s the biosphere to think about. Do we use automation to unleash a surplus of pollution, garbage, waste and toxicity upon our already fragile planet, but for the want of maximizing a bottomless pit of human activity? Indeed, when we play god, and cure cancer, feed the poor and house the homeless, do we even fix the ugly, mean freaks that no one finds adorable or even mildly interesting?

I think we can draw a bounding box around an extrapolation of all living humans in their current state of affairs, and what it would take to raise the standard of living, and provide a comfortable pasture for all the broken shambles of misfortune that creates poverty and all the mental illness that creates homelessness. We’ll probably even have enough surplus to snip out all those pesky tumors, and mend the festering sores that sprout more. We’ll probably be able to figure this stuff out, granted that biology is merely piles of chemistry, which of course is merely piles of physics, and that highly efficient resource sharing will produce idle humans bathed in surplus, many of whom will be pretty smart, healthy and motivated. My, that’s optimistic, isn’t it?

So, I dunno. I don’t see things your way, but then again, I have to spend eight or more exhausting hours a day, on this treadmill of income chasing to pay rent, eat food, run fool’s errands, commute, idle in front of a cathode ray tube, psychically recovering from the trauma of the stupidity inflicted upon me by this shitty mess of a groundhog’s day rat race, and then sleep for eight hours, so I’m actively prevented from helping you solve the problems you attempt to frame as so bloody insurmountable.

C’est la vie...


Thanks for the comment,

I was being a bit flippant in my comment because I take issue with the phrasing of these problems in the context of 'solutionism.'

We can, and have, eased poverty. Families aren’t having to eat their children as happened in 1920's Russia. We must strive to ease it our entire lives to add meaning, even if we know we will never reach the asymptote for the reasons I mentioned,

We must strive to ease war. Does that mean having a strong police-like presence in the Middle East, or just getting the fuck out? Our own society arose like a Phoenix from extreme violence, at we harming less developed countries by constant intervention in their sectarian violence?

We must strive to ease cancer, because we have to solve this before the heat death of the sun if we wish for humanity to survive afterwards.

Peace be with you


>But for about $90 in parts

Oh and I don't know, about $250K worth of professional experience and skills but yeah.. we have.


My ten year old daughter recently built a robot that finds a face and then applies blush. We used an old printer for parts, a blush brush, and an Arduino clone. That's $3 in parts. She also had no prior experience with the Arduino or C, though she knows a bit of Python.

That is the level of technology that we are at today. We are living in the future. And it is a future that Asimov would like.


And if you had zero of the tools and equipment beforehand used in the process, what would the additional cost be to just get started?


Around $400-$600. More if you need to do in-depth troubleshooting.

The 3D printer OP uses is a Monoprice; it looks like the delta mini (https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=21666). It costs $160.

The circuit boards and the solder paste mask are made by another company and delivered by mail. It's been a while since I looked up costs, but it's quite cheap these days, and the watch's circuit board is small, so I can comfortably say it cost under $100 to get the mask and a few copies of the board.

The soldering could be done with a $200 chinese reflow oven, like the T962 (https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=t962), or with a $20 toaster oven, an oven thermometer, and some careful timing. (Some people do their surface-mount soldering with just a frying pan and their kitchen stove!)

The rest is just basic hand tools -- screwdriver, file, sandpaper, tweezers, maybe a magnifier. Maybe a $5 Arduino clone to help with debugging and programming, and a $35 T12 soldering tip+controller for doing soldering test stuff and "I messed up" wires.

If the first try doesn't work, and it's not obvious why, you'll to spend more money.

If fixing the problem requires changing the board board then you need to order new ones, and the mask to solder them.

DC voltage levels, current consumption, and electrical continuity can be checked with a $20 multimeter. The presence, frequency, and integrity of signals can be checked with a good used analog oscilloscope costing $100-$200. Some things are easier to check with a new, basic digital oscilloscope costing $300-$400.

If the electronics are good but there's something wrong with the software, you'll need something to read the signals the chips are exchanging with each other. Basic, low-speed (less than 1 MHz or so) signals can be read and generated with the Arduino board, or a $30 Bus Pirate. If your project uses higher-speed signals, you'll need a logic analyzer. A good USB model is the Saleae Logic 8, which costs $400.

(There is overlap in the capabilities of digital multimeters and logic analyzers, so you can sometimes just buy one and use it for both purposes.)


The case is 3D printed on what appears to be a $160 Monoprice Mini Delta.

Soldering was done in a reflow oven, commercial units start at around $200 or you can use a modified toaster oven. This board doesn't look too terrible to do with an iron or hot air gun either. You can get a decent combo hot air/iron station for about $60.

You'll want some test equipment, cheap multimeters start at free from harbor freight but you'll probably at least want to step up to a ~$15 model. Logic analyzers are handy and until fairly recently were quite expensive but now you can get them for $10. An oscilloscope might be handy for debugging the power circuitry here, you can get a cheap one for $20 or a nice one for a few hundred or an old nice one for about a hundred.

An adjustable bench power supply isn't really necessary but nice to have, those start around $50.

A professional EE's workbench will probably have many thousands of dollars worth of equipment on it but most hobbyists have much more modest budgets.


The aQFN package of the particular microcontroller they use would be impossible to do with a soldering iron. You could do it with hot air though.


What tools? I think the biggest thing is a reflow oven, but, honestly, I've soldered using a cheap, used toaster oven from Goodwill + an oven thermometer. Worked wonders!

The 3D printer might have been the biggest offender, to be fair, but many libraries have some (as do many maker spaces that are hourly). Additionally, you can order a number of 3D printed parts online as well, for relatively low cost.


I'm pretty sure they used a Monoprice Mini Delta[1], which is one of the cheapest fully assembled 3D printers available (about $160), so it's not even that bad without a printer.

[1]: https://www.mpminidelta.com


If you want to buy your own 3D printer and reflow, it's going to be pricey. If you live in an urban area, there are likely "maker spaces" nearby where you can pay a nominal fee to use the communal tools.


And a dollar for the piece of chalk.


don't forget imgur's hosting costs...and the computer you're on right now!


You can literally learn all the required skills for $0 (Youtube, online lectures, personal projects).. and a few years of your life.


While I can appreciate the sentiment, the reason we can do things like this is because of all the research and development that went into things like integrated circuits, manufacturing and CAD. This is more the classic hacker thing, were you use something larger and serious for you own purposes. Not making something primarily for serving ads, or whatnot.

This technology can very well, and was to a large extent made to, be used for something else. I don't think researchers or EEs are stepping over homeless people more than anyone else. When it comes to doing good things with electronics I would be more worried about patents, or just finding the time.


> all the research and development that went into things like integrated circuits, manufacturing and CAD

It's more than just that though. Centuries of incremental knowledge passing from one generation to the next. A global economy that allows chips manufactured in China to be shipped to American for peanuts. All the collaborative effort that went into writing an OS that's available for anyone to use free of charge. That someone is able to be so specialized, they can do this in their leisure time.

It is an incredible amount of human cooperation and achievement over thousands of years. I suppose you could say that about many things today, but for whatever reason, this watch put me in a bit of a philosophical mood.

I guess: humans collaborating achieve great things; we should do more of that.

(You know what else reliably gets me marveling about humanity? Attending a symphony orchestra performance.)


Homeless, poverty, cancer, or war are all people problems, and people are complicated. We do have flying cars but they're not very good at flying or driving.


The “we don’t have flying cars” argument always strikes me as begging for something to complain about. We could easily have flying cars if there was literally one reason to have a flying car. There is not a single reason to have a flying car, so no one has put in the time to make one because no one would buy it because it’s pointless.


Flying cars would be a great solution to congestion.

Assuming perfect reliability, reasonably low sound levels, super high efficiency engines, and flying pigs.


Flying cars would move the congestion from the surface roads to the skies. Over your house, over your children's heads.

And those 1000 KG bullets would be, on average, piloted by someone with the skill of the average driver today.

No thank you.


if there was literally one reason to have a flying car

I'll give two: reduce traffic jams, and less need to build/maintain roads. The average commute time* is about an hour a day. Giving people back that time to spend with their family, to work, to play would be an amazing boon to society. The real issue is that the technology to make practical (cheap, fast, quiet, safe) flying cars doesn't exist. A practical flying car would also solve the housing price crisis in cities as people could fly in from the exurbs.

* https://www.npr.org/2018/09/20/650061560/stuck-in-traffic-yo...


> A practical flying car would also solve the housing price crisis in cities as people could fly in from the exurbs.

Doesn't this just reinvent the problem? You're currently spending a long time commuting due to congestion; you'll now spend a long time commuting due to sheer distance.


People are already driving from the exurbs, so a 2 hour commute from Pittsburg, CA to Downtown San Francisco (30 miles) would drop to 15 minutes in a car flying at 120mph. That's better than a typical intra SF commute. If you look at a 30 mile radius it is a tremendous area for living potential.


If we had the ability for humans to safely pilot a flying car at 120mph, we'd have the ability for humans to safely pilot a on-the-ground car at 120mph.

All the traffic collisions that currently happen in 2 dimensions (changing lanes without looking, failure to yield, rear-end collisions) would happen with flying cars but now in three dimensions. And when a collision happens that completely disables the car, it won't just crash in two dimensions, it will plummet to the ground.

To prevent that, we'd need dedicated air lanes that cars would have to merge in and out of, and on-ramps where they're only allowed to move up or down at dedicated spots to help with merging. Which we have on the ground already.

Yes planes fly fast. They're also piloted by professionals who dedicate their lives to piloting them, controlled by a central ATC tower, and heavily regulated by a governing body. And we still have air disasters.

There is zero reason to move cars into a third dimension of travel. If you want "cars but faster", we have a solution for that: cars. But faster.


I don't get your argument. Humans can safely pilot airplanes at 600 mph, but clearly cannot do this safely on the ground. The difference is density. Cars routinely travel only a meter apart on highways, but because there's a lot more space in the air, planes maintain minimum separation of hundreds of meters.

Ships, also driven by professionals, collide more frequently than airplanes for the same reason.

Another important reason to go 3D is that you can go much faster with less fuel at high altitude.


I don't actually want flying cars. It's a metaphor for "how we imagine some problem of today will be solved in the future."


Just put wheels on a helicopter and now you have a flying car.


Have you seen the 90s? Cool things don't need a reason.


With credit reports and landlord background checks, I think homelessness will be a rising problem because everything now goes into a database that sticks with you for 7 years.

I have an acquaintance who was evicted (due to property damage caused by her ex boyfriend). She was given a 3 day notice to vacate, and now she has an eviction on her record. The eviction basically means that she cannot rent a property in her own name for the next 7 years, even though she's gainfully employed and can pay rent. After over a month living in a hotel, she finally found an off-lease sublet. But that's only temporary.


I agree but would also add that poverty is sort of a moving goal post, so I don't know if it will ever be completely eradicated.


Computer problems are also people problem. The subsection of computer problems which are interesting to humans at least.


We've possessed the technology and resources to solve the first two for at least a decade, but it's unclear how doing so would increase share-holder value.


And when we're piloting spacecraft between various colonies in our solar system, we'll still have wars and poverty and suffering, but one person will be able to design, manufacture, and build their own bespoke nuclear reactor for their personal spacecraft.


I was expecting a brick on wrist, but this surprised me! And the circuit looks simple. I love the charging dock and textual of the watch frame! Screen resolution is a bit low though. I'd join if there's an open source community dedicated to work on this stuff, I think there's a lot of room improve the OS and software. I'm glad to have seen this!


> I was expecting a brick on wrist, but this surprised me!

Agreed, I can't believe how thin and professional it is! This has to be the most mind blowing thing I've seen for a long time. :O


The DA14683 is fantastic. I played a bit with an eval. board and it's really good for it's price vs. features (~$3 for 250 pcs. at Mouser). But soon the idea of releasing code for it as Open Source faded away, since you need to sign an SLA (https://support.dialog-semiconductor.com/connectivity/reques...), that limits the way source code based on their in SDK is released (only to your customer, in an only “need to know” basis). I hate when this happens.

I wonder how the creator of this watch managed to publish the source code, including the Dialog SDK; if there is a backdoor I am missing.


As I understand it, the designer used freertos. At that point, he can just give a readme with hand-wavey "get sdk, install freertos, find firmware files here... and here's all my code which I'm free to license as I wish" and no license infringement necessary. Not sure why a backdoor is needed, but then I've never built a project like this.


Probably by ignoring the license.


Pretty reasonable way to solve this problem really. Are they really going to bring the hammer down on a hobbyist?


I share a hatred for this sort of thing that happens all too often the closer you get to hardware, mainly as a byproduct of the culture. However, refusing to adhere to a proprietary license damages respect for all software licenses, especially the GPL, in the global software community. Depending on where you fall on the anarchy vs rule-of-law scale that may or may not be a good thing.

Flip side of the argument: "Someone wrote a GPL library I want to use but I don't want to release my source. Is anyone really going to notice, care, or bother to bring the hammer down on my company?"


Does anyone know how this compares to the nRF5x series (and/or other BLE-friendly microcontrollers)?


It does look very similar to the nrf52 line. The nrf52850 even has double the SRAM (256kb).


Removed SDK files at request of Dialog Semiconductor

https://github.com/S-March/smarchWatch_PUBLIC/commit/12b4ad3...


For open source community projects a better bet than a bespoke case would be aiming for the form factor a a popular watch movement, so that hackers can chose to buy or build a bespoke case.


HN needs to know; it's a front door.


I googled and added it up (just out of curiosity) using the BOM, and total cost was ~$88USD (not counting shipping)

Also, the OS is FreeRTOS (Open sourced by AWS/Amazon in '17) if anyone is interested


I'm pretty sure FreeRTOS has been open source since its inception in 2003, see posts going back to 2004 at [0].

Amazon forked it, merged their fork with the original project and took over it in 2017. You can read about it here [1].

[0] https://sourceforge.net/p/freertos/news/

[1] https://freertos.org/FAQ_Amazon.html

EDIT: actually, I don't think they fully merged their fork as there's a variant called a:freeRTOS


FreeRTOS was previously GPLv2 with a couple of added clauses (anything linked with FreeRTOS is now GPL too and you can't publish performance metrics without approval). I'd imagine there were a lot of companies not wanting to GPL everything they made with FreeRTOS (i.e. Amazon) so with a new MIT license, anyone can do whatever they want.


I think you have that backwards.

> As a special exception, the copyright holder of FreeRTOS gives you permission to link FreeRTOS with independent modules that communicate with FreeRTOS solely through the FreeRTOS API interface, regardless of the license terms of these independent modules, and to copy and distribute the resulting combined work under terms of your choice

It was GPL with an exception that allowed you link your app code to the OS, with your app becoming GPL.

The performance metrics part was weird though.

https://www.openhub.net/licenses/GPL-2-0-with-freertos-excep...


>you can't publish performance metrics without approval

Curious to know if anything knows if that's actually enforceable. The GPL gives you permission to use an distribute a program and code. I can see where if you got your copy straight from RTOS, they can enforce that clause. But, to me, the GPL seems to give everyone the right to distribute the source without that clause. And it seems to explicitly forbid the addition of additional licensing terms:

You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein


So they somehow took over a free software project and removed the GPL? That doesn't seem like a positive development!


The GPL licensed version wasn't GPL compliant anyway because of the lame restriction on publishing benchmarks. MIT fixes that problem.


And assuming they didn't merge their fork back in, the original FreeRTOS codebase doesn't get any of their fixes/improvements either.


And there is nothing stopping you from taking the original GPL'd FreeRTOS codebase and merging in all of the MIT licensed improvements. If you make a better FreeRTOS, that's what people will use.

I've seen this happen many times in open source. For example, to this day LGPL's LibreOffice, which started as a fork of OpenOffice, reviews all OpenOffice patches and cherry picks the good ones.[1] On the other hand, Apache OpenOffice can't benefit from any of LibreOffice's patches.

Viral licenses like GPL have an edge and will win out if there is a community that actually cares.

[1] https://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/log/?h=aoo%2Ft...


GPL licenses tend to discourage adoption due to their onerous restrictions, which is why most projects today choose anything other than the GPL family of licenses.

The virality of GPL actually results in most companies explicitly banning the use of GPL tools and code to prevent the GPL from "infecting" their own code.


For what it's worth, LibreOffice is probably LGPL because of OpenOffice's history with the Oracle buy-out. Oracle gave OpenOffice to Apache for the same reason Google gave Wave to Apache: They run a sort-of paliative service for software projects.


Their "fork" is additional libraries for FreeRTOS specifically for IoT kind of stuff packaged into the kernel. Not everyone needs an Amazon version of the FreeRTOS and most users wouldn't want extra junk in the kernel considering the kind of hardware that an RTOS is meant to be run on.


Plus the... holy crap that 3D printer is only $170?


Or like $6800 depending on how you value your time.


Or like $400,000+ if you are hiring a team of mechanical, electrical and software engineers to design an make it for you because neither you nor any individual on your team has his entire set of skills.

Or like $1,000,000+ if you are hiring some company to design and build it for you


Fortunately for the OP that's not how he thought about this. People who put a value on their time for everything are invariably terrible company for anything that is fun, will teach you something or that is useful to others rather than only immediately to themselves.


OP obviously enjoys building and showing stuff off. If they valued their time they would be building smart watches instead of mindlessly browsing social media or watching TV.


Very true


I would have been impressed with anything functional, but to me this actually looks nicer than the vast majority of commercially produced smart watches. Awesome!


The Samsung smart watches look really nice to me, I don't know how decent they are in real life though since I don't own one.


I had a gear S for 2 years before I gave it away recently. The look attracted some positive comments, and the rotating bezel was a favorite of mine.

Anything software was shit (ie poorly done/buggy), and samsung used a lot of dark patterns (you have to install an app to get the watch paired, which is fair, but it keeps nagging you to install a second app).

My friend and I were one of the first batch of people to get it (preorder a few months before release), and had some issues initially that they quickly resolved (by sending us new watches)


Shoddy development and Samsung go hand in hand. No matter the product - their customizations on top of Android are invariably bonked after an OS update, their watch OS is weird and buggy to develop for, their mobile OS(that they seem to have abandoned) was also weird and buggy to develop for and irritatingly hard to deploy to...

all they seem to focus on is a finished LOOKING end product. i rejected a job at samsung dev based only on that knowledge - who wants to work for a company with an almost institutional disregard for software?


While it's not a proper smartwatch, i find withings' (Nokia) hybrid smartwatch[0] to be really aesthetically pleasing.

[0]: https://www.withings.com/ca/en/steel-hr


I am wearing one right now and it’s amazing - Especially it’s battery life (easily 1 month+). I get loads of compliments about this watch. The feature set is just enough for my needs, even though I considered getting an Apple Watch. The app is also more than decent.


I had one of the original Withings watches (before Nokia bought them out) and it lasted about a year until it stopped reliably keeping time. It got to the point where I was doing hard resets and changing the battery every few weeks and I gave up in the end. I was really disappointed, it looks beautiful and worked so well for a year and then became totally useless. I spent a good £200 on it as well if I recall correctly.

Withings were empathetic but took a long time to respond to my tickets and eventually I just gave up. I've still got it because I can't bring myself to get rid of it. I loved that it looked like an analogue watch, got lots of compliments on it and everyone was surprised when they found out it counted steps (etc) as well.

Are the recent ones better? I'd consider getting the new one that looks like the old Withings Activite if it holds up to the claims on the box.


Xiaomi has a watch like that for $50 or so. It's pretty neat, although obviously not as capable as a smart watch.


> Especially it’s battery life (easily 1 month+)

> I had one of the original Withings watches (before Nokia bought them out) and it lasted about a year until it stopped reliably keeping time. It got to the point where I was doing hard resets and changing the battery every few weeks and I gave up in the end.

Worse is better. Changing batteries? Failure to keep time? Over 200 Euros for a watch that doesn't last a year? Largely unheard of in the realm of automatic watches.


Yup, same. I love that i have to charge it once every 3 weeks, tracks my bike rides while i commute to work, runs and workouts.

People usually don't believe that it's a smart watch and more surprised when i say that it's Nokia. I usually get the reaction "They are still relevant"


I currently use a Fossil Explorist, but I'm pretty frustrated by the battery life, and honestly it's just... slow. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on run tracking - I don't want to carry my phone with me, and it's really nice to have my watch track distance via gps.


So i have got HR, but i always carry my phone with me (music) while running or biking. So i'm not really sure how it will do without a phone. I can try it out in without phone in couple of days if you want to know about that.


This is quite nice. It has a sort of Nomos vibe.


I believe withings is no longer part of Nokia


aren't they pretty thick in real life


Not really, i think it's fine. Here i took a pic of the watch.

https://imgur.com/a/Q18kyyb


Right now they're very gimmicky, Apple watch has a much better app ecosystem


I own an Apple Watch and have yet to find any apps I'd use for it - I currently use it entirely for telling the time and for notifications (and for the record am quite happy with it!).

Any watch apps you can recommend?


I have the 4. I regularly use it for most of my music listening (when travelling or working out + bluetooth headphones), Transit tracking apps (here in Toronto I use RocketMan for the most part), use the NHL app to follow scores if I'm not watching the game (not often now that the Leafs... did what the Leafs do...), Maps (on occasion), and news apps—Apple News, News360, and AP. Oh, and the Weather Network app which can also feed a live temp. reading to the watch face (handy in the winter, especially).

Personally the biggest boon for me is workout tracking and health data. It's transformed me over the last six months or so (girlfriend said it changed my life—though that is a bit extreme).

There's even a VO2 max estimate if you track a run or walk outdoors for more than 20 minutes.

Actually I just use it for many of the things I use my phone for except for writing long messages, email, or web browsing. Which is kind of nice. I put my phone in my bag and forget about it most of the time when I'm on the move. It's been good that way.

So I'll end there because I'm sounding like a sales pitch. I wouldn't push anyone hard to get one, but for me it's been fantastic.

Edit: For anyone else reading this comment, my biggest complaint would be battery life. I won't get more than 2 days out of it without charging because I use the battery-intensive heart rate and music functions regularly. Resolved of course by charging it nightly beside my phone.


Watch app's I frequently use:

- AutoSleep: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1164801111 or Sleep++ - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sleep/id1038440371

- HeartWatch: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/heartwatch.-heart-activity/i... I much prefer this complication to Apple's. It displays the most recently recorded heart rate measurement

- Dark Sky: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dark-sky-hyperlocal-weather/... I also prefer this weather complication and watch app

- Overcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/overcast/id888422857 Great watch app for controlling podcast playback, and includes the option to go phone-free (with AirPods).

- WorkOutDoors: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/workoutdoors/id1241909999 If you go hiking outdoors, even infrequently, this app is great. It allows you to store trail maps on your watch, and optionally record workout of your hiking (with GPS data, etc).

- Baby Monitor - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/best-baby-monitor/id43279139... Drop an iPhone or iPad near your sleeping baby, check in on them from your watch (with notifications and optionally video). Not sure if you have kids, but this app is a bit of a marvel, especially when out and about or traveling.

- Fantastical - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fantastical-2-for-iphone/id7... I prefer this app to the built in Calendar.app, both for iPhone and Apple Watch. The complication is great, especially in the larger sizes.

Of Apple's built-in apps, I frequently use: Messages, Now Playing, Walkie Talkie, Workouts, Maps, Activity, Wallet, Phone, and Music.


- Deliveries - News - NY Times - Starbucks - Stocks - Mail - Homekit - Carrot Weather - United Airlines

and a weird checkers program are the ones I use most. But I don't have the fancy new Apple watch. I have the original one, which is much more limited than current models.


So according to your logic, lack of apps == gimmicky?


Yes, since you can tell the time with a regular, non smart, watch, too -- and some will also do notifications and other stuff.

In fact, even with the apps it's sorta gimmicky. Unless you use it for health purposes (e.g. heart monitoring), a smartwatch is not of the "my life change" category. At best the "I could do the same shit with my mobile phone, now I also have another device for them that I can do them in a worse screen/input method".


Women's clothes don't have pockets. Always having an active LTE modem strapped to my wrist makes me feel safer. It is easy to be separated from my phone because I don't have pockets.


Why do women put up with that?


I don't know. If you own a sewing machine, you can add pockets to anything you buy off the rack.

Actually, adding pockets to women's apparel might be a decent side-gig business....


The clothes look good and women look fantastic in them.


Because they like the look. If the shop around, they can get all kinds of women's clothes (including shirts and t-shirts) with pockets, but they wont.


There is more to it than this, like everything else there is a history of pockets. This article makes a good case for why the "history of pockets isn’t just sexist, it’s political": https://www.vox.com/2016/9/19/12865560/politics-of-pockets-s...


Please show me where to shop then. I've looked everywhere. I can't find pockets big enough to hold my normal sized iPhone. I have a weird body shape, normal pants literally DO NOT FIT.


Picking looks over function.


That's a good question. This comes up every-now-and-then with my wife. She's usually says that pockets don't really matter, and then I point out that I have to carry her goods in my pockets.

I suspect it's something really subtle along these lines: Beautiful women can often get by being useless, so women in general acrew certain trappings of uselessness so as to associate themselves with beauty.

It's sort of like men and commuter pickup trucks (trucks are associated with hard-working men, so men buy trucks and drive them around town, even though they have no hard work to do).


I think the more accurate reason is women carry purses because of the lack of pockets, and since most women have purses, you don't need to put pockets in your clothing. It also used to be scandalous for women to wear pants vs a skirt or a dress, which doesn't lend itself to pockets.

And aesthetically, a pocket stuffed with things, especially in more form fitting clothing, doesn't look good.


i don't think it's "uselessness" as much as aesthetics. form over function is always the primary consideration. there is no demand for pants with pockets and the rest follows. as a dude i've started preferring jeans with comically useless small pockets because i always carry the only things i need(smartphone has a wallet stuck onto it) in my hands


Agreed. I don't have one either, but the photos look great.


Just got a Galaxy watch Sunday. So far I like it a lot. The rotating bezel is by far the best feature compared to other smart watches.


This is really cool and as a software guy the electrical engineering component is a huge black box to me. Circuit boards all connected up and getting a physical device to handle lithium ion batteries to properly charge and not blow up is beautiful. He does a great job with pictures, videos, and giving detail at both a high level and semi-in-depth explanations really made it shine.

Is there anyone that does similar type of posts? Or even a follow along type of deal to get feet wet with actually building devices (maybe it includes a list of items to buy first)? Don't get me wrong I love writing software but showing someone something you physically made as opposed to sending a link to a website seems so much more satisfying.


While I didn't give super detailed instructions, I posted something similar for a cyberpunk face-shield prop I made [0]. I started with a cheap VR toy and pretty much everything else is from Adafruit.

[0] https://imgur.com/gallery/JOnd3H1


Some people at CERN made a smartwatch for a colleague's retirement a number of years ago. Their entire project is FOSS, complete with a talk at FOSDEM 2015. It's not quite a tutorial or walk through, might be interesting for you.

https://www.ohwr.org/project/f-watch/wikis/Home


While it's definitely satisfying to interact with the physical world it also means that sometime you're debugging your software issues (which might be hardware ones), using output signals connected to an oscilloscope or a logic analyser (once you have exhausted the blinking LEDS options...) !


This is nicely done, beautiful aesthetics. There are multiple phases (HW, SW, Mechanics) which would be impressive enough on their own. Kudos!

Love the little gifs to explain how it's done, especially the stenciling of the PCB.

I'm curious, how/why did you choose the DA14683 chip?


Quoting the OP from the reddit thread:

"I picked the MCU for a couple of reasons:

-Very low power transmit/receive for the bluetooth (<4mA). I get around a week of battery life

-Cheap

-High speed on the SPI bus. The display writes are limited by the SPI bus. It requires a 9-bit word (additional bit is used for data/command). So being able to run the SPI bus at 48MHz is clutch.

-Has PMIC integrated into chipset. I don't need to include additional circuitry for a buck-boost regulator or a lipo charger since the dialog part has it all built in!

-Cheap"


I'm annoyed that he made a watch from scratch and its wrist twist to show screen timing is still faster than my smartwatch


What they don't show is how often it turns on when he doesn't want it to. That was probably a tough calibration to make for other manufacturers, especially when production smartwatches have much higher-resolution screens and processors that drain battery.


That is absolutely correct. Figuring out when the watch is in an upright position is trivial. Figuring out whether the user intended to actually get it to turn on is extremely hard, and it involves looking at the history of motion that preceded it, and making judgments based on a whole lot of user data.

The other problem is making the tradeoff between detecting this fast enough (to turn on all the systems that follow so that the screen can light up fast enough) and waiting long enough (so you can be extra sure that the user intended to look at the screen)

The garden path is easy. Making it work mostly unobtrusively is very hard.


Also the power cost of running this analysis all the time can be higher than just turning on the screen even though the user didn't "request" it.


I'm guessing Android watch? That's what you get from running Android on a device.


The CCCamp 2019 badge will be a (low cost) smart watch called card10:

https://gitlab.hamburg.ccc.de/card10/logix


how do you interact with anyone presenting at/participating in CCC? does everyone just meet on day of? i have a hard time reading any of their material and there's never any links on who to ask questions to. OR do they just like it that way


Awesome, thanks for the info !


I clicked thinking, this is just a guy who'll disassemble a smartwatch and put his DIY housing and strap on it.

But man! I was so wrong, and I'm totally impressed.


To save folks a click, copy, and paste, the GitHub project is https://github.com/S-March/smarchWatch_PUBLIC


That is really lovely — and truly from scratch, including the software!

The first photo looks a lot like Android Wear, so first I assumed this would be using a prepackaged OS, but it isn't!

The source code is in on Github alongside schematics, PCB files and everything else: https://github.com/S-March/smarchWatch_PUBLIC/tree/master/So...


Tony Stark level DIY


yeah very impressive. Is this how products are really prototyped? I feel he could have mentioned either 20 years of experience in all parts of this field (if that's how come he could do it so cleanly) or if he did actual prototyping steps he could have mentioned them or showed some pictures. From the pictures, it comes off as something anyone can do in a week or two. like building a table.

Maybe I'm wrong and the pictures do do the process justice?

Either way definitely amazing.


The physical assembly would likely be a week if you're following instructions and avoiding other people's mistakes.

The person who made it probably made a lot of mistakes that you're not seeing, and is used to working at this level of quality.

You could imagine this whole thing started on a breadboard and IDE at some point, but the final assembly is "print the things that I drew on the computer, glue and screw together".


It's pretty clear the author knows what they're doing and pretty much anytime I see a post like this I assume they are (smartly) doing some self-marketing rather than a 'see how easy/cool this project is?' So it's part 'look at this nice watch I made' and part 'look at what I could be doing for your product'. Far better than just saying 'designed and built a smart watch' on the resume.


oh, got it. I don't know if it's true or not but that is a really good assessment. I was really perplexed by the part where he says "now here are some boring circuits, feel free to skip this". Like, who would skip that? What you've written makes perfect sense though.


This is so awesome. It is a good learning and inspiring for others. I will add this project to DIY section of the Learn-awesome repository https://github.com/learn-awesome/learn-awesome. Please add such valuable resources here.


Very impressive and inspiring.

I've been thinking about making a custom keyboard for a while now but, while I have no problems with the electronic and software side of things, I'm a bit overwhelmed with the 3D modelling required.

I tried learning Blender but it really feels ill-suited for designing physical objects. The author mentions considering openSCAD but I've heard pretty bad things about it so I haven't really given it a chance yet.

The person making the dactyl keyboard had a very interesting talk where he explain how he basically ended up writing his own DSL in clojure on top of openSCAD, maybe I should try that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk3A41U0iO4 (if you enjoyed TFA you'll probably like this video as well, it's a step-by-step explanation of how he designed his dream keyboard).

Otherwise I suppose I'll have to betray rms and try this freeware Fusion 360 thing.


FreeCAD is the FOSS equivalent type of tool to Fusion360. Lots of learning material available on YouTube. I have designed wearable electronics / jewelery in it several times.

One can drop down to Python to do code-based parametric there also, with cadquery. But even as a software developer, I have only done that for 2 out of over 100 designs. I have also maybe 2 times used the OpenSCAD importer to include some existing designs as parts into my project.


Blender is more artist-oriented and maybe not the best suited for industrial design. But FreeCAD seems quite powerful and could be a good solution for you


OpenSCAD actually comes pretty natural if you are used to writing code


OpenSCAD is nice for simple geometry, but products today never have simple geometry. Doing bevels in openSCAD is a nightmare for example, and bevels are everywhere.


I'm still disappointed that new smart watch development has seemingly stalled in progress as of late. I was hoping that by this time we'd have watches that had 24 hour battery life, and an always on display that didn't need a flick of the wrist to activate. I hoped that wouldn't be asking for much, but I guess it's harder than I assumed.


I purchased an Amazfit Stratos around 6 months ago. This thing is better than any other smart watch I have owned (Pebble, Moto360, Apple Watch). Always on screen. Multiple days worth of battery. Best workout tracking I have had on a watch. And it does all the notification and smart watch type things I expect. I am not certain why Apple, Samsung, et al haven't figured these things out yet, but other companies have and it is great. Oh let's not forget this only cost me $150.


My watch can do 16+ hours with standard GPS (well, after a trail run that took 8 hours pretty much on the dot there was less than half the battery gone based on its readings, I'm extrapolating from there) and there are settings that in theory will extend that a fair bit. The official claim is 20 hours as I use it, 50 with GPS in its least accurate but most power saving configuration (fine for walking, perhaps not for tracking faster locomotion). The 20 on standard settings might be expecting too much, but on reduced accuracy your 24 hours is easily doable. It can go a couple of weeks as a normal watch with ~8 hours of GPS tracked runs, maybe four weeks if I didn't use GPS at all.

Its display is always on too, though the backlight isn't so if you need night-time tracking it won't meet your requirements but otherwise it will.

It isn't top-of-the-range either, or even a brand spanking new model at all (early 2016 release IIRC).

Things have stagnated a bit I'm sure, but mainly because we are hitting to plateaus: one caused by the limits of battery tech & what size/weight we are willing to carry, the other caused by there not being many features left to add, at least not that most users will be willing to pay extra for (or lose battery life in order to support).


Even my 3 year old Zenwatch 2 lasts over 24 hours with an always on screen. Watches like the Amazfit Bip last close to a month with an always on screen.


That thing unfortunately seems to have died with Pebble.


Amazfit is the closest player to Pebble's old space. I don't think they have any 3rd party app ecosystem at all, but the baseline experience covers time, notifications, workout tracking, and a couple other things.

Bip and Stratos are the watchier lines, they also have more minimal Fitbit strap-style product that I forget the name of.

EDIT: Here's another new entry https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/04/garmin-revamps-entir...

> Like most Garmin smartwatches, the Forerunner 45 and 45S track all-day activity and sleep, deliver smartphone alerts to your wrist, and are easy on the eyes thanks to an always-on, sunlight-friendly display. Even though the Forerunner 45 watches are the most affordable of the bunch, they still have a heart-rate monitor and built-in GPS, so users can make outdoor runs without the help of a smartphone.

> It can also connect to external sensors like a running dynamics pod and heart-rate chest straps to capture more running data while you train. The Forerunner 245 watches have the same one-week battery life as the Forerunner 45 watches do when in smartwatch mode, but they'll last up to 24 hours in GPS mode or six hours when using GPS and music playback simultaneously.

That looks really promising.


Currently wearing an Amazfit Bip and I really like it. I got one for my Dad to replace his Pebble Time Steel and he loved it so much I got one. I usually get around 20+ days of battery life and it does everything I need, aka sleep tracking, notifications, and activity tracking.


I have a Garmin Fenix 5 that has this and lasts 2 weeks on a charge.

https://explore.garmin.com/fenix/


It's interesting to know how one can build the one thing for about ~$80 even in small quantities, and everything is available, incl Source.

If people started selling the pre-soldered board as a smart-watch starter kit on Aliexpress , pretty sure someone would buy it.

This is the sort of thing that would make DIY popular, I can see why.


Very nice job! I love reading about hardware projects like this but stumble across the write-ups much less frequently/reliably compared to interesting software projects. Are there good groups/lists/sites to hear about more electronic/hardware hacking like this?


All sorts of interesting projects on Hackaday: https://hackaday.com/


What a great project! I love how much attention to detail he put in. Fantastic, this is exactly the kind of thing I love studying and working on myself.

Sidenote, I'm a bit disappointed that people use imgur to showcase their projects, as I don't think it's very good for that. I built https://www.makerfol.io/ for this exact purpose but people seem to still prefer imgur for some reason, and I'm not sure why :/


> people seem to still prefer imgur for some reason, and I'm not sure why :/

To be brutally honest: because it's more likely to still be there in x years, for any value of x.

Of course if you _really_ care, you host it yourself, and then it exists for as long as you care. Imgur's an easy happy middleground though, so people use it.


FYI, the gravatar images don't load on my browser because I have Firefox's content blocker enabled. The alt-text "The user's avatar" is showing in a bunch of places, and on the project list it overlaps with the project titles. I'd recommend:

* Replacing "The user's avatar" at the top with the user's name. * On the project list, just setting the alt-text to "".

Otherwise: nice site.


Ah, thank you, but removing the alt-text would be bad for accessibility. It is meant for visually impaired people, after all. Maybe setting the title would fix this, I'll look into it, thank you!


The alt-text "The User's Avatar" is worse for accessibility than an _empty_ alt-text (not no alt-text, empty alt text).

Alt-text is to describe non-decorative images that add meaning. The parent commenter is correct on how you would implement accessible alt-text here.

In the top, your avatar is meant to to represent a link to your profile. That needs an alt attribute. The alt attribute should be the current user's name, "Your Profile", or something similar. When signed out, something like "Sign In" might work better.

In the featured projects, the avatar that's there is decorative. The litmus test for decorative images is that if the image wasn't there, would you be able to easily figure out what to do? The image is purely decorative, as the creator's name is adjacent to it. There you would add an empty alt tag, like `alt=""` (not the same as no alt text), as screen-readers know to ignore that image then.


I see, thank you, I'll change them then.


No problem! Alt text is super confusing if you don't do it often, and there's a lot of untrue assumptions out there about it :)

I highly recommend this page by WebAIM on it: https://webaim.org/techniques/alttext/


This is extremely useful, thank you!


Just a heads up but your terms and conditions link doesn't work


Oh oops, thanks for letting me know! I'll fix that ASAP.


Imgur doesn't ask me for my email address out of the gate.

In fact, I've used imgur for years and I don't have an account.


This is so cool. I've never heard of that microcontroller though. It has nice features and applications. Datasheet of the microcontroller he used: https://www.dialog-semiconductor.com/sites/default/files/sma...


Considering there is still no good replacement for my Pebble Time, I might use this manual to build my own. The Rebble team might also be interested in this.


I have been looking for a replacement since the day Fitbit shutdown the pebble services. I am glad that Rebble team took over some of the services but it would still be nice to find a replacement. what do you think of wearOS based devices like fossil sport or Ticwatch pro?

I have been looking at this wiki to identify a few good replacements to pebble time: https://www.reddit.com/r/WearOS/wiki/watches


I'm not a fan of any of the sports-focused replacement watches that seem to compete against the Pebbles. The Fossil Sport seems to lack a eInk Display and the vendor only promises 24 hour battery time.

The TicWatch seems to manage 40 Hours, something which my recently Pebble Time with a half dead battery achieved.

The main reason I'm severely disappointed in the market is the lack of long battery lifetime devices. And those that do run for a week on a single charge usually lack in other parts of the product.

And after all that, it's all so expensive. A Pebble Time costs around 60€ to 80€ used on Ebay, and that is after they went out of production. Most competitors don't go that low!


Congrats! Making it round was a good design decision! Who would think a square (or squircle) watch is good watch design anyway? ;)


On a related note, I was reminded of Woz's Nixie watch - https://youtu.be/m4R3hODnTGo


Great project. I'm amazed at how much you can accomplish with today's tools and services. And using the woodfill PLA is a good way to get around the rough look of 3D printers. Great ideas here.


Wow - that's an impressive project. Ambitious and well executed.

...only part that had me confused was using like 25% of screen real estate for showing time and putting flowers on the other 75%. Artistic I guess.


My guess is he hasn't gotten to scaling the text sizes yet. It looks like all the text is the same font-size.

I think in the Reddit thread, he mentioned having to draw each character (lower-case and upper-case) pixel-by-pixel for the display.


The design of the charger is shockingly good. I would prefer that 10x to my apple charger disk that is constantly slipping off.


Looks good. Time for you to do a Kickstarter!


If you have scratch and junk lying around, why not make a watch from it?


that's sorta the thinking that makes me take issue from the phrase 'from scratch'.

it's a nice project, but in my vocabulary 'from scratch' doesn't mean "after an initial engineering and design phase i'll order a host of parts from a company', it means 'i'd better start wrapping memory cores, let me get the copper wire out.'


How much harder would it be to build an ebook reader?


I suppose that depends on your requirements, but people have done similar things: https://orbides.org/book.php


How did he get that screen?


The part number is in the Bill Of Materials file on his github repo:

https://www.dhgate.com/product/aml130a2402a-1-3-inch-240-240...


Be sure to read the comments on imgur, made my day :)


This is crazy.


Hi guys, how are you?


this is REALLY great, i hope i can give two upvotes!


so you are the engineer at google?


Bottom images seem photoshopped.


You mean the ones he specifically says are "rendered"? He mentions Fusion 360, the CAD software he designed the case in.


Ouch, stupid me. Sorry.


I'll take "things people without kids do in their spare time" for 200, Alex.


"Comments people who wish they were capable of doing such a project make on the internet for 800, Alex"




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