SQFMI launches campaign for Watchy, a fully open source e-ink smartwatch

watchy.jpg

SQFMI, short for Squarofumi, is a group that calls itself as made of "art and technology enthusiasts, bringing transformative ideas to life". Their latest project, Watchy, is a $50 open-source e-ink smartwatch with a distinctive look. It was recently available on Tindie but after selling out, SQFMI launched a CrowdSupply campaign to help get it to others.

When SQFMI claims that their smartwatch is fully open source, they mean it as both the hardware and software are open source, with the related documentation made freely available. This Arduino-powered smartwatch was designed with tinkerers in mind so that they can make a unique timepiece. However, it's also useable as-is out of the box and will already look unlike most other smartwatches out there with its 1.54-inch e-ink screen and barebones aesthetics as the PCB itself is used as the body. But given its open source nature, users can 3D print a casing and even customize their straps. Backers on the CrowdSupply campaign will also get a 3D-printed case when purchasing the kit (starting at $50 for early bird). There's also a fancy aluminium case purchasable during the campaign for $40 (without the Watchy kit).

As for the 'smart' aspects of Watchy, it features both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE connectivity, allowing it to connect with internet APIs (such as weather, news, traffic, maps, Spotify), as well as to Bluetooth LE enabled devices. As for additional specs details, you can find more below:
  • Ultra-low-power e-paper 1.54" display with 200 x 200 resolution and wide viewing angle
  • Wi-Fi & Bluetooth LE connectivity
  • 3-axis accelerometer with gesture detection
  • Real-time clock for accurate time keeping with calendar and alarm functions
  • Built-in USB-to-serial adapter for programming on the go
  • Vibration motor for alerts
  • Four tactile buttons
  • Open source hardware & software
  • Tons of examples & cool watch faces
  • 3D case designs (stls) to customize your watchy (and watch straps)
  • New injection-molded plastic case
watchy specs.JPG

Watchy's campaign ends on March 16, 2021 and SQFMI claims that they are "confident to mass produce and deliver the version of Watchy offered in this campaign with quality and on time" as they have their own manufacturing line, as well as established close partnerships with several other manufacturers to help us scale. But as is usually the case with crowdfunding projects, a level of caution is advised.

We also have an official review for the Watchy in the works to help you get a better idea as to what to expect from this device; so keep an eye out for it!

watchy me.jpg

:arrow: Watchy CrowdSupply Campaign
 

NNate

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Hmmm, only $55 so it really appears you get what you pay for. No interested myself - I hardly wear my Android Wear watch as it is.
 
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Kind of like the idea from a geek perspective, but doesn't seem practical, no mention of the screen being lit for one thing
it's e-ink, of course it's not backlit, though i wonder if it's like lcd watches were you get a small light you can activate when needed
 
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hippy dave

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it's e-ink, of course it's not backlit, though i wonder if it's like lcd watches were you get a small light you can activate when needed
Pebble Time display was lit (wikipedia says backlit), kindles are frontlit. A watch you can't see in the dark is of no real interest, and there's no mention of lighting on the watch itself or the cases. I guess you could make your own case with a light, but it'd be a chonky mess compared to what can be done by pro manufacturing.
 

Veho

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  • Real-time clock for accurate time keeping with calendar and alarm functions
Well thank goodness for that. Imagine if they'd forgotten that part :ha:

Simple device at a relatively low price point. You could assemble your own version for (slightly) less but this comes neatly pre-soldered. I can see people getting one to tinker with.

"The PCB itself is used as the body," that thing is going to break like crazy. PCBs are not known for their tensile strength. The "barebones aesthetics" are fine to look at, but really should be reinforced with a case for extended use. Good thing the Crowdsupply campaign watches will come with a case, just in case.

One correction to the OP, the case will be injection molded plastic, not 3D printed.
 

x65943

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I kinda wanna get one just to use as an extremely portable e-reader

Never get bored on a hike again! Bring the combined total works of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Gogol with you anywhere you go! A stunning 20 words can render with each touch of the screen. Finish War and Peace with only 50,000 screen transitions!
 
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Maybe if the description had said open source 3 or 4 more times I'd be interested. I'm someone who likes my source even more open. Like really really openy open source. And I like the variable names in the source to be very long descriptions of itself . Open source.
do you use Gentoo?
 
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Pipistrele

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Smartwatches are dead anyway. So who cares?
I use those for years at this point - if you're into exercises and healthy lifestyle, it's a good all-in-one activity tracking device that also counts as neat and customizable fashion accessory. It's a niche gadget for sure, but the niche is still there and won't disappear anytime soon.
 
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