Watchy is closer to that latter category. It’s a smartwatch with a paper-like monochrome display and open source hardware and software.
With a list price of $50, it’s an affordable option for folks looking for basic smartwatch functionality and a hackable design. The project first hit our radar nearly a year ago, but Watchy recently went on sale at Tindie recently.
Update: Watchy is up for pre-order from Crowd Supply for $50 and up, and it’s expected to begin shipping at the end of May, 2021.
Unfortunately it’s out of stock at the moment, so you’ll have to join a waitlist if you want to get your hands (or wrist) on one. But you may also be able to build your own.
Source code, documentation, and design files are all available at the Watchy website, so if you have the hardware and technical know-how, you may be able to make your own watch. Odds are you’ll end up spending more than $50 though.
If you do manage to pick up a Watchy kit from Tindie, you’ll get a kit that includes:
- 1.54 inch, 200 x 200 pixel ePaper display
- Pre-assembled printed circuit board
- 200 mAh battery
- Watch strap
- Adhesive tape
The watch supports WiFi and Bluetooth low energy and has a 3-axis accelerometer. It can be paired with a smartphone to display notifications or act as a music playback controllers, among other things. It can also connect to the internet directly for weather, news, or traffic updates, among other things.
Users can also write their own code. Watchy uses an ESP32 microcontroller and can be programmed using Arduino, Micropython, ESP-IDF, or Zephyr-RTOS.
If you’re not a coder though, and just want to download watch faces and other apps, it looks like that might be an option soon as well.
This article was originally published January 15, 2021 and last updated February 2, 2021.