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This $50 open source toolkit can be used to hack your own e-paper smartwatch



If you ever wanted to have your own custom weird watch like Steve Wozniak, then Squarofumi (stylized SQFMI) might provide you with a product: an open source smartwatch powered by Arduino with There is a 1.54-inch electronic watch paper screen (via Gizmodo). It is called Watchy, and the hardware and software are fully customizable. However, you can use it directly because the PCB can be used as the main body with a tip to fix the strap. Most importantly, it is only $50, which is priced at $45 at the time of writing.

There are sections for dials and cases on the SQFMI website, but currently they only say “coming soon”

;, so if you are considering this watch, make sure you are ready for a DIY project. Oh, and there is another fact that the watch is not assembled well-you have to assemble it yourself, connecting the 200×200 display, PCB and 200mAh battery together. There are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3-axis accelerometer and four buttons that can be used for navigation, or any other function you can dream of.

Watchy has hardware that DIYers may be familiar with.
Picture: SQFMI

If you don’t have to assemble the hardware yourself, there is one last thing to note: Although the watch does come with pre-installed software, if you want to make any changes to the dial, you must download the Arduino IDE and use it yourself Programming.

Although some people may not be able to work because of the full work of the watch, for some people, the “build your own” method means that they will be able to get exactly what they want. If you want the watch case to look like an iPod or Game Boy and have a matching interface, you can 3D print the case and encode the dial. Although Tizen and Wear OS watches do provide downloadable dials, most commercial smart watches are unlikely to gain this freedom.

SQFMI’s estimated battery life depends on your use case-it says that if you just want to save time, you should spend 5 to 7 days, but if you get data frequently, you may only see 2 to 3 days. However, its open source nature means that you can always put a larger battery in it, or if you are willing to reduce certain functions, you can try some software optimizations.

This table uses ESP32 SOC, which can be programmed with Arduino and MicroPython.
Picture: SQFMI

If you are looking for this coding/DIY project, Watchy can be sold on Tindie. I only recommend that you visit the SQFMI website to ensure that the amount of documentation available is sufficient to get you started.


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