Is there a Pebble alternative? The Arduino Watchy e-paper smartwatch is now available

The Watchy Arduino e-paper is an open-source smartwatch that functions similarly to the Pebble. Squarofumi is the name of the company that created it.

Pebble watches continue to have a devoted following. Despite the fact that the company has been out of business for several years.

Fitbit bought it in 2016, and used the company’s hardware and software skills to create and upgrade its smartwatches and operating system. Pebble servers were maintained running until the end of June 2018, however after that, support was discontinued.

A village arose from the ruins, which is still active today. It revolves around RebbleOS, a competitor to PebbleOS. The software doesn’t contain all of the old features, at least not yet, but it keeps Pebble watches functional.

Arduino smartwatch with e-paper display

Pebble lovers may be interested in the 3D printed Watch Arduino e-paper smartwatch. It has open source hardware and software, as well as a barebones design that works. As a result, the hackable timepiece offers a wide range of customization options. You can also choose from a variety of 3D printed casings and watch straps.In terms of technical specifications, Watchy has a 3-axis accelerometer that allows it to recognise gesture motions. As a result, there is no heart rate monitor or the capacity to provide advanced fitness and sleep statistics. WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity are included, as well as a vibration motor for notifications and a USB Serial Adapter.The square watch includes a big monochrome 1.54 inch e-paper display that is powered by the ESP32 microcontroller (200 x 200 pixels). In bright sunlight, these types of screens are sharp and noticeable. They also have the advantage of not requiring a lot of electricity to function. You can personalize it by selecting from a variety of watch faces. Four programmable tactile buttons are located on the body’s sides.

A completely constructed watch PCB is included in the box. The e-paper display, a 200mAh battery, a watch strap, and sticky tape are also included. Putting it all together shouldn’t be too difficult. On-line instructions, as well as source code, design files, and more, are available.

Is there a Pebble alternative? The Arduino Watchy e-paper smartwatch is now available.

Overall, this appears to be a good small product for DIYers and open source hardware and software aficionados. Pebble enthusiasts might like the clean, no-nonsense design. Consider it a less expensive version of the Pebble watches. After all, 3D printing a steel case would be quite challenging!

An adequate water-resistance is also lacking. That would be difficult given that you’re using sticky tape to put the thing together. Finally, while the screen appears to be fine, there is no blacklight, so don’t expect to use the watch in the dark.

However, the added value comes from the ability to programme Watchy to do whatever you want. As long as you know how to code.

This isn’t limited to simple watch faces. There’s Bluetooth for communication with smartphones, as well as WiFi for accessing the internet. For each hardware functionality, the business has included detailed documentation and Arduino code samples.

Price and availability

The timepiece is available from tindie.com for less than $50. Although it is currently out of stock, you can sign up to be notified when more become available.

Even if Watchy isn’t a full replacement for the Pebble watch, it could be a step in the right direction for Pebble lovers. It’s not a ready-to-use solution like the Pebble, but it might pave the way for a more permanent replacement.

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