Qualcomm Snapdragon W5+ and W5 wearables platforms promise higher efficiency and performance

Snapdragon W5+ Block Diagram

It’s been a while since Qualcomm released a new platform for wearables. More exactly, the Snapdragon 4100 platform was announced a little over two years ago, and now Qualcomm has just introduced the Snapdragon W5+ and W5 Gen 1 platforms with up to 50% longer battery, twice the performance, and 30 percent smaller size. Just like the Snapdragon 4100, the Snapdragon W5 comes with four Arm Cortex-A53 processor (SW5100), but is clocked at 1.7 GHz and manufactured with a 4nm process, while the always-on (AON) co-processor is upgraded from a Cortex-M0 chip to the QCC5100 Cortex-M55 chip manufactured with a 22nm process.     Snapdragon W5+/W5 specifications: W5100 SoC CPU – Quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.7 GHz GPU – Qualcomm Adreno A702 @ up to 1 GHz with OpenGL ES 3.1 API support DSP – Qualcomm Hexagon DSP V66K System Memory – 16-bit LPDDR4 up to 2,133 MHz […]

BP Doctor PRO review – A 2-in-1 smartwatch and blood pressure monitor

So far, If I wanted to monitor my blood pressure monitor and overall fitness, I’d use a Bluetooth blood pressure monitor (Koogeek BP2) plus a fitness tracker/smartwatch such as Weloop Key S3. It does the job, but WearWiz has come up with something much more compact with the BP Doctor Pro 2-in-1 device that acts as both a smartwatch/fitness tracker and a blood pressure monitor, and at $299, offers a cheaper alternative to the $500 FDA-approved Omron Heartguide. The company sent a sample to CNX Software for review, so we’ll have a look at the device and accessories, the Android app, and features such as blood pressure monitoring, HRM, SpO2 level monitoring, and more. The review is rather long, so if you are short on time, you may want to check the two sections: Blood pressure monitoring with BP Doctor PRO smartwatch Conclusion with Pros and Cons BP Doctor PRO […]

MutantW V1 – An open-source ESP32 smartwatch designed with Autodesk Fusion 360 and EAGLE

Rahmanshaber is known for its DIY Raspberry Pi handheld PCs such as MutantC v4, but MutantW V1 is a completely different device as an ESP32-based DIY open-source smartwatch that he designed with Autodesk Fusion 360 and EAGLE. The smartwatch is equipped with a 1.7-inch IPS LCD display (non-touch), two hardware buttons, a NeoPixel RGB LED, a vibration motor, as being powered by an ESP32 SoC offers both 2.4GHz WiFi 4  Bluetooth LE connectivity. MutantW V1 specifications: WIreless module – A.i. Thinker ESP32-S WiFi and Bluetooth module with ESP32 dual-core processor @ 240MHz with 520KB SRAM, 4MB SPI flash Display – 1.69-inch SPI IPS LCD display (ST7789 driver) with 280 x 240 resolution, scratch-resistant front glass. Note: no touchscreen Programming – Via 4-pin charging cable or OTA firmware upgrade Misc – 2x programmable buttons, NeoPixel RGB LED, vibration motor Battery – 3.7V/200mAh LiPo battery likely good for one or two days; […]

Bangle.js 2 JavaScript smartwatch gets an nRF52840 MCU, a new design (Crowdfunding)

The Bangle.js 2 is an upgraded, improved version of the Bangle.js hackable, JavaScript smartwatch based on NordicSemi nRF52832 SoC that was introduced in 2019 with ESPruino open-source firmware. The new watch comes with a new rectangular design, a Nordic Semi nRF52840 SoC that offers four times the RAM, twice the on-chip and external flash, plus an always-on sunlight-readable screen with full touchscreen support, and improved Bluetooth signal strength. Bangle.js 2 specifications: MCU – Nordic Semi nRF52840 Arm Cortex-M4 MCU @ 64MHz  with Bluetooth LE, 256kB RAM, 1MB on-chip flash Storage – 8MB flash Display – 1.3-inch 176×176 always-on 3-bit color LCD display (LPM013M126) with backlight, full touchscreen Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 LE with advertising, central and peripheral mode support GPS/Glonass receiver Sensors Heart rate monitor 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis magnetometer Air pressure/temperature sensor Misc – Vibration motor Debugging/Programming – Full SWD debug port on the rear of the watch Battery – 200mAh […]

NXP i.MX RT500 Cortex-M33 Crossover MCU integrates DSP, 2D GPU for wearables and IoT devices

NXP i.MX RT500 is the second Cortex-M33 Crossover MCU following the NXP i.MX RT600 Series announced in 2018, and optimized for low-power HMI applications such as wearables and Smart Home & IoT devices. NXP Crossover MCUs are typically clocked at 600 MHz or more, but NXP i.MX RT500 Cortex-M33 is limited to 200 MHz, and combined with 200 MHz Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP as well as a 2D GPU, and power optimizations that enable long battery life of up to 40 days on a charge for wearables like smartwatches. NXP i.MX RT500 key features and specifications: MCU Core – Cortex-M33 @ up to 200 MHz with Arm TrustZone, M33 built-in Memory Protection Unit (MPU), PowerQuad hardware accelerator for DSP functions, CASPER crypto coprocessor for asymmetric cryptographic algorithms DSP Core – Cadence Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP @ up to 200 MHz On-Chip Memory Up to 5 MB of system SRAM accessible […]

T-Watch 2021 ESP32 round smartwatch features ESP32 SoC, touchscreen, 500mAh battery

Back in May, LilyGo started selling “Paul’s 3D Things” Open-Smartwatch open-source hardware ESP32 watch as a kit with the board and a round display, but no case, wristband, or battery, although now a smartwatch kit, but still without battery, is available for around $30. The company has now designed the T-Watch 2021 which builds upon the Open-Smartwatch but adds features like a touchscreen display, a vibration motor, a magnetometer, and ships as a devkit with board and display or a complete smartwatch kit including a 500mAh battery. T-Watch 2021 specifications: Wireless module – LILYGO T-micro32 module based on ESP32-PICO-D4 module with dual-core ESP32 processor, 4MB FLASH, 2MB PSRAM, ceramic antenna and u.FL antenna connector Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2 BR/EDR BLE and WiFi 4 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n Display –  1.3-inch circular touchscreen LCD with 240×240 resolution (Model GC9A01) USB – Micro USB for charging and programming Sensors 3-axis BMA423 accelerator, pedometer […]

HarmonyOS launched on Huawei MatePad tablets, Watch 3 smartwatches

Huawei plans for an Android alternative called HongMeng (鸿蒙) OS were leaked in 2019 following tensions with the US government that prevented them from working with American and other companies around the world. The operating system was later called HarmonyOS for the overseas markets, and Huawei released HarmonyOS 2.0 beta in September of last year, where we learned it was heavily inspired by Android, replacing Google GMS with Huawei’s own HMS, but using the same development tools. We also got a roadmap at the time with the company planning to launch HarmonyOS devices in 2021. Developers first got the HiSpark WiFi IoT RISC-V development board to play with the new OS in October 2020, but now the company has finally announced HarmonyOS consumer devices with three Huawei MatePad tablets, and two Huawei 3 watches. Huawei MatePad HamornyOS tablets Three models have been introduced with a mix of Kirin and Snapdragon […]

Why you should request open-source software for your IoT devices

I usually think of open-source hardware and/or software are enabling skilled people to more easily fix bugs, improve on the design, get feedback from the community, etc… But in a world where IoT devices become more prevalent, there’s another reason why you should request open-source software: Long term support. What made me think about are two things. The first one if that I own WeLoop Hey 3S smartwatch, which I love and wear since March 2018. That’s quite a feat since most cheap devices I own often only last a few months or a year or so. I’m also used to the watch face and Weloop app interface. So what’s the problem exactly? WeLoop company closed on December 31, 2019, and while the app worked fine for about a year after that, recently I have been unable to login to the app to access my data and/or update settings for […]