“Out of Stock” – this is the message that almost always greets you are on the product page of the Squarofumi Watchy. This open-source smartwatch in our opinion, is a ray of hope for smartwatch enthusiasts, as some of us see it as an alternative to the once renowned Pebble. In reality, however, the watch is actually more comparable to the Raspberry Pi single-board computer.
The Watchy is one of those peculiar projects whose success depends largely on the community. As an open-source project, everyone is allowed to develop apps for the smartwatch or customize the watch according to their preferences. The smartwatch’s basic form does look a bit bare-bones at first glance. Without a case, you can see most of the components at the front and back. These include:
- The 1.54 inch E-Ink display with a resolution of 200 x 200 pixels
- Serial USB interface
- Microcontroller (ESP32-PICO-D4)
- 3-axis accelerometer
- 200 mAh battery
- Vibration motor
- Bluetooth and WLAN module
The package also includes STL files, which you can use to create your own cases for the Watchy using a 3D printer. Basically, you are able to dream up your own design, where you can then insert the circuit board as well as the display. Since the manufacturer, Squarofumi (SQFMI for short), has also thrown in a wristband with the basic timepiece kit, you can also wear the watch and strut around proudly.
The operating system doesn’t come preinstalled
As with the Raspberry Pi, you can configure the Watchy according to your preferences and expand its functionality by purchasing additional compatible components. If you fancy creating your own smartwatch, you can take a look Watchy project page where all the things you need to create your own smartwatch are lisyed.
Taking into consideration how the software is completely open source and the ESP32 microcontroller is compatible with various development environments such as Arduino, MicroPython, NodeMCU, and Lua RTOS, among others, you can be sure that there will be no shortage of enthusiasts to tinker around with it. No doubt you have to be equipped with a little know-how before diving right in, and of course, the watch can’t keep up with the top performers on the smartwatch market.
On the other hand, it is comparatively inexpensive for a price of just under €40 ($50). Personally, I like the design of the watch that comes pretty much naked, but online store Tindie already has a selection of cool cases for the watch – including one that gives it a Nintendo Gameboy look or one that comes in the style of the old Macintosh Plus. If you are interested, you can register your name on the waiting list at Tindie. Unfortunately I couldn’t find an alternative online shop that carries this bad boy. If you have an insider tip, feel free to share it with us in the comments!