ATCwatch Arduino Firmware Works with PineTime, COLMI P8, “Da Fit” Smartwatches

ACTWatch Arduino Firmware

Earlier this week, we wrote about fake heart rate sensors found in ultra-low-cost fitness trackers as reported by Aaron Christophel. It turns out he also maintains an open-source project specific to P8 watch, PineTime, and other smartwatches compatible with Da Fit Android app: ATCwatch Arduino firmware. The firmware provides a basic menu system, notifications, and the latest implementation enables direct HTTP or HTTPS GET requests to control IoT devices and get info from the Internet. The current firmware consumes about 150-200uA standby current, and last roughly 92 hours on a charge with heavy notification and usage. While it’s possible to connect an SWD St-Link V2 to flash the bootloader and firmware, it’s not necessary, as it’s possible to flash ATCwatch Arduino firmware without having to open the watch by using over-the-air update function with DaFlasherFiles for PineTime or P8 watch together with DaFlasher Android app. Once the update is done, you can get notifications on your phone after installing D6 […]

Beware of Fake Heart Rate Sensors in Low-Cost Fitness Trackers

Fitness Tracker Fake Heart Rate Sensor

Manufacturers always attempt to lower the BoM costs of their products to increase sales and boost profits. Most do it in an honest way, but some are either incompetent or deceptive as we’ve recently seen in an IR thermometer was the infrared unit was not connected to the mainboard. I’ve just been informed about another trick that’s been going on for a while. Some ultra-cheap fitness trackers come with fake heart rate sensors that are simply replaced by two LED’s to simulate the real thing. The trick was discovered last year by Aaron Christophel who purchased several fitness trackers believe to be based on Nordic Semi nRF52832 in order to as he wanted to use Arduino firmware with those. He managed to do so in several with IWOWNFIT I6HRC tracker being the best suited for the tasks. But he also found some bad apples in the lot with several trackers using a “heart rate sensor” board with two LED’s only, […]

Snapdragon Wear 4100+ Platform Combines Cortex-A53 Cores with Always-On Cortex M0 Core

Snapdragon Wear 4100+

Qualcomm entered the wearables market in 2016 with the launch of Snapdragon Wear 2100 quad-core Cortex A7 SoC, followed by other models all based on Cortex-A7 cores including the more recent Wear 3100 platform which also added a QCC1110 co-processor to extend battery life. The company has now made the switch to 64-bit Arm with Snapdragon Wear 4100 and Wear 4100+ both featuring a quad-core Arm Cortex A53 processor and companion chips, but the latter adds QCC1100 Arm Cortex-M0 always-on (AON) co-processor to lower power consumption. Snapdragon Wear 4100+ key features and specifications: SoC – Qualcomm SDM429w or SDA429w CPU – Quad-core Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.7 GHz GPU – Adreno A504 GPU up to 320 MHz with OpenGL ES 3.1 API support DSP – Dual Qualcomm Hexagon QDSP6 v56, dedicated MDSP for modem and GPS, and dedicated ADSP for Open Sensor Execution Environment (SEE) and audio Memory & Storage I/F – LPDDR3 up to 750 MHz, eMMC 5.1 flash […]

Lilygo TTGO T-Watch-2020 is a Nicer Looking Arduino Programmable ESP32 Watch

TTGO T-Watch 2020 V3

We’ve covered several ESP32 watches over the last year include TTGO T-Wristand, Watchy, and DSTIKE ESP32 watch. Those don’t really have the nicest looking design, and some people complained about various shortcomings including the difficulty to customize/program the watch. Last year, Lilygo introduced TTGO T-Watch smartwatch that, due to support for expansion boards, was relatively thick, but at least documentation and Arduino code samples can be found on Github. The company has now launched a slicker version with Lilygo TTGO T-Watch-2000. TTGO T-Watch-2020 specifications: SoC – Espressif ESP32 dual-core wireless processor with 520KB SRAM System Memory – 8MB PSRAM Storage – 16MB QSPI flash Display – 1.54-inch LCD capacitive touch screen Audio – Class-D amplifier, buzzer Connectivity – 802.11b/g/n WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.1 via ESP32 Sensors – BMA423 three-axis accelerometer with built-in step counting algorithm, activity recognition / tracking, advanced gesture recognition. Misc – Power button (round),  PCF8563 RTC clock, vibration motor Programming – Via Micro USB port (CP2104 […]

$55 Watchy Smartwatch Combines ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth SoC with E-ink Display

Watchy ESP32 E-ink Smartwatch

SQFMI has designed a (mostly) open-source hardware smartwatch based on an ESP32-S wireless module for WiFI and Bluetooth connectivity, and equipped with an E-ink display of 200×200 resolution. Watchy also comes with a BMA423 accelerometer, four buttons, a DS3231 real-time clock, and a vibration motor. The watch should last around 2 weeks on a charge. I mentioned the watch is “mostly” open source hardware because while the GERBER files, bill of materials (BoM) and the PDF schematics have been released on Github, the KiCAD schematics and PCB layout files have not so far. That still means you can understand the design, repair the design, or even make your own, but if you intended in modifying the design, you’d have some more work to do. Tom Fleet, writing for Hackster.io, does go through different sections of the schematics and explain what they do. One the software side, the watch can be programmed with MicroPython or Arduino, and the Arduino library, as […]

VOIXATCH Smartwatch Comes with a Detachable Bluetooth Headset (Crowdfunding)

Voixatch smartwatch

As a Kickstarter project, VOIXATCH introduces the world’s first smartwatch device which puts essential features of all the devices we carry with us in one unit. This watch does everything that smartwatches do, plus it has a built-in Bluetooth headset. Other smartwatches can be used with Bluetooth headset, but VOIXATCH has a Bluetooth ring-look-like headset docked on it, and the headset can be detached anytime and used for phone calls or listening to the music. One can call it a headset smartwatch. Cool, huh? After Mobile World Congress 2019, where Voixatch demonstrated the watch, it is finally available for “purchase” on Kickstarter rewards starting at $179 and first batch delivery expected in June. VOIXATCH embodies LTE, GPS connectivity in an all-in-one truly wireless design that can be used with Google Voice. The watch can also be used as a cellular smartwatch with a bezel headset to make calls and stay connected, with or without your smartphone. For that purpose, the […]

$18 TTGO T-Wristband DIY Arduino Programmable Smart Bracelet Features ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP

TTGO T-Wristband

2020 is promising to be an interesting year for low-cost user-flashable smartwatches/bracelets. After the recent introduction of the $25 Pine64 PineTime Bluetooth enabled wearable companion for PinePhone Linux smartphone that will support various real-time operating systems such as Zephyr OS or FreeRTOS, we’ve now been informed that Liliygo launched TTGO T-Wristband smart bracelet powered by Espressif Systems ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP. The watch comes with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 4.2 Classic+LE connectivity and is currently selling for under $18 and up on Aliexpress and Tindie. TTGO T-Wristband smart bracelet specifications: SIP – ESP32-PICO-D4 system-in-package with ESP32 Tensilica LX6 dual-core processor, clocked at 240MHz, 520 KB SRAM, 802.11 b/g/n HT40 Wi-Fi,  integrated dual-mode Bluetooth (classic + low energy) Display – 0.96″ IPS color display Antenna – WiFi / Bluetooth ceramic antenna Sensor – Invensense MPU9250 9-axis motion sensor Expansion / Programming Interface – 0.3pitch 13-pin FPC socket Misc – NXP PCF8563 RTC chip, touch button controlled via TTP223 Power Supply & […]

Kospet Prime SE Smartwatch with Face Unlock Runs Android 7.1.1

The Face ID Unlock Technology in a Smartwatch Kospet, the maker of smartwatches, has developed the Kospet Prime SE, a smartwatch phone with Face Unlock/Face ID technology. The watch is sleek and not overly large or heavy, and come equipped with two cameras for face ID. Runs Android 7.1.1, Supports iOS 9.0+ and Android 5.1+ The Kospet Prime runs Android with support for Google apps and documents.  The watch carries a 1.6-inch touch screen face. There is support for a 4G Nano SIM card that allows the watch to make calls based on the owners, (or someone’s) phone number and can sync to smartphones running Apple iOS 9 and later or Android 5.1 or greater. Dual Cameras There are dual cameras for Face ID accuracy, at 2.0 mp + 8.0 mp and also allows video calls at any time. The Face ID / Face Unlock technology is said to the first-ever in a smartwatch. 1260mAh Battery and Substantial RAM and […]