Not every smartwatch needs to have an AMOLED display and a $300+ price tag. The new Watchy smartwatch from SQFMI is a simple, cheap, and hacker-friendly smartwatch that uses a square E Ink display, an ESP32-S system-on-a-chip, an accelerometer, and 4 buttons plus a vibration motor.

It’s programmable with support for Python and Arduino. And the whole thing costs just $55.

Prefer to make your own? You can find hardware and software documentation at github.

Right now it doesn’t look like you can buy Watchy from SQFMI’s Tindie store just yet. But you can find a link to purchase one via PayPal at the Watchy github page.

Watchy’s key components include a 200 x 200 pixel E Ink display, and that ESP32-S module, which features a low-power dual-core processor and WiFi and Bluetooth. SQFMI says the watch should get up to 2 weeks of battery life from a charge, and there’s an integrated DS3231 real-time clock which should help keep time.

There’s also a BMA423 MEMS accelerometer with support for step counting and gesture recognition.

via Notebook Check and

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8 replies on “Watchy is a $55 smartwatch with an E Ink display (you can also build your own)”

  1. This is cool. I still prefer a classic watch, but this is cool.

    @Brad: also, while I’m here, I wanted to thank you for the work you’ve done one the theming. The fonts are still a bit iffy in some places (by which I mean that there are too many different kinds of font faces and too many different font sizes on a given page), but the layout and sizing are now great! Thanks!

    1. Thanks. I’ve been trying to identify and kill all the Google Fonts in the theme and just let your browser choose the default sans serif fonts for your device. But it’s a work in progress!

    1. I think the bezels make it look classier than every other square smartwatch I’ve ever seen.
      What I don’t like is how the watchbands are looped through slots in the PCB.

  2. SQFMI links to the github repo from their site which links to the paypal cart, so hopefully it’s all legit

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