What is the most important thing for you when you look for a new smartwatch?
Do you want it to look sleek? Do you want a certain fitness feature? Perhaps you want a hybrid watch that combines advanced technology with classic watch design?
Well, what if you could make your own? What if you could modify the style and functionality of your smartwatch on the go? These are exactly the sort of aspirations that many designers had when creating their Do-It-Yourself smartwatch blueprints.
The make your own smart watch craze shows absolutely no signs of slowing down, as more and more budding creators try their luck. In this list we’ll explore every kind of DIY methods. From the passionate designers who can teach you how to make a smart watch yourself, to companies that have implemented modification features into their smartwatches.
The golden age of DIY smartwatch
The momentum of the custom smartwatchcraze continues steadily. As more and more people realise the many benefits of owning a smartwatch. A number of companies have helped the concept of a programmable watch to become mainstream news.
TheBlocks smartwatch premise alone rocked the wearable technology sector, with promises of complete customization. Alongside this, sites likeHackster.io provide passionate engineers and designers a place to group together on DIY projects. This combination of innovative ideas, and revolutionary online meeting spaces has caused a multitude of people to look into building their own smartwatch.
This combination of innovative ideas, and revolutionary online meeting spaces has caused a multitude of people to look into building their own smartwatch.
From experienced hackers, to the curious tech-savvy; this list is for all those that have an interest. With the popularity of DIY watches at an all-time high, we are taking some time to run you through the best ways to do it.
TheOpen Source smartwatchwas originally designed by Jonathan Cook. After a few efforts to refine the design, they are now preparing to launch their official site. The premise is that you can create a watch from equipments you can source and buy yourself.
From printing the watch case, to programming the microcontroller, the guide on the site will take you through each individual stage. The guide is detailed and intricate, but the step-by-step process allows even the inexperienced engineers to build their own smartwatch.
The Open Source smartwatch kit provides consumers with a demanding project, that rewards those who take part with a customisable smartwatch of their own creation.
Build your own modular watch with Blocks
Blocks smartwatch allows tech-fans to buy a professionally built watch with changeable features. Funded throughKickstarter, the designers managed to raise over half a million dollars to build the watch.
The strap of the Blocks smartwatch is made up of several modules, allowing the user to change the function of their smartwatch on the go. Modules include a heart rate monitor, GPS and even extra battery. The watch runs on an Android operating system, which allows users to experience smooth usability.
Those that are interested can buy the watch, as well as one starter module for $259.
DIY smartwatch with Arduino micro-processor and Android
Much in the same vein as the open source watch, theseguides allow you to make and customise your own watch. The main challenge of creating your own watch is the printed circuit board. Building or sourcing your own PCB that will be small enough to function as a watch is tough.
Regardless of the challenge, many people have made their own arduino smartwatch. And though the process is complex,some talented creators have even made their own smartwatches with calling and texting capabilities. This guided innovation makes it apparent that you canmake a smartwatch, if you have the skills and the dedication.
Turn a regular watch into a smart watch with Chronos
Chronos Wearables enable the user to turn their classic timepiece into a fitness-tracking smartwatch. The Chronos smart disc is attached to the underside of your watch. It is then placed in a charging dock.
The smart disc will then light up in response to notification alerts, allow you to control your music and count your steps in order to reach your fitness goals. You can also make your phone buzz and ring with a simple tap of your watch face.
Chronos have introduced a truly revolutionary idea with their smart disc, allowing uses to transform the old into the new.
DIY OLED watch
ThisOLED smartwatch is another example of a talented individual sharing the fruits of their labour with the internet. Jared (the inventor of the OLED watch) has shared the process he used, from soldering the hardware to manufacturing the case. This allows any willing individual the knowledge required to build a smartwatch.
The OLED watch includes an accelerometer, as well as firmware that can communicate efficiently with any computer. Though Jared has not updated his designs since 2014, the method he used back then is still usable today.
The engineers atTinyscreen have gifted fans of wearable technology with a kit, including everything you need to build your own smartwatch. The watch will be connectable to any Apple or Android device, and have several different watch faces available.
The kit includes a TinyDuino Processor Board, a Tinyscreen OLED display and a 140 mAh rechargeable battery. Alongside other parts that are needed to give the watch it’s Bluetooth 4 functionality.
The kit also includes the basic instructions needed to assemble the smart watch. The Tinyscreen smartwatch is stylish, as it comes with a 3d printed case and vibrant watch strap too.
Build & program your own nWatch
The nWatch was originally designed as a development board that could fit onto your wrist. As the designer tweaked and refined the item, they found themselves with a touchscreen smartwatch. The PCB required for the making and construction of the watch can be foundhere.
The creator of the nWatch goes into detail concerning the watch’s features. It incorporates a micro SD card, an mp3 decoder and Bluetooth 4.0. The watch has an impressive appearance, with a Nokia 6300 LCD touchscreen. This means you can scroll down it’s many features with a drag of your finger.
Make a smartwatch with AWS IoT
This particular smartwatch uses the power of the Intel Edison module. Though it has been discontinued, it can still be used to create a capable smartwatch. We can see this in the guide foundhere.
The step-by-step guide details a committed engineers journey as they make a wearable device out of the Edison module. Once finished, the smartwatch has the power to send messages. As well as this, the Edison has a low battery consumption.
The process is complex and intricate, but definitely worth a try for anyone looking for a long-term project.
Though the dream to make your own digital watch is a hard one to grasp, there are definite methods of achieving it.
A number of hardware enthusiasts have streamlined the process for you, allowing you to source the materials from reputable sellers, and to follow step-by-step guides with ease.
The result of these guides is a middle-ground between ease and effort that should entice anyone looking to build some wearable tech. You can also buy a fully-built smartwatch with customisable modules.
Have you built your own watch, and which method did you follow?
Liam writes articles for a myriad of sites and publications. With a deep-set love for electronics and music, often finds himself drawn to writing about the latest bands and gadgets. He has a degree in Drama and English, enjoys acting, producing music and writing in a number of formats. He also works as a copywriter, providing content for clients around the world.