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'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 CrowdSupply Campaign