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The Walltech OLED BTLE Smart Watch v6.1

A first in the open source community. A bluetooth 4.0, fitness-tracking smart watch with 1.5" color OLED, sd card slot, and precision IMU.

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This project was created on 06/04/2014 and last updated 19 hours ago.

The time has come for me to combine all the knowledge I’ve gained through my watch prototypes and create the ultimate watch. The Walltech Smart watch. I’ve finished planning the design, the PCB is complete, and it’s set to be finished by the end of the summer of my sophomore year in high school. Sporting a beautiful 1.5" full color OLED display with sd card slot, bluetooth 4.0 low energy capability for receiving phone notifications, email, calls, texts, and maybe even music, we shall see how far I can take it. Ever wanted a smartwatch that you could customize to the core? Build yourself? And trust is fully open source? Look no further, from the experience I've gained building my previous generation OLED watch, I am fully ready to embark and have already ventured out on the journey that is creating my own smart watch.

MAKE MAGAZINE - The Open-Source Smartwatch Built by a Teenager:

                                                                       System Design

The full writeup for the original OLED watch I built and an in-depth description and pictures of the various parts going into this build can be found using the links to the lower left.


The majority of the project's info and progress will be detailed in the project logs below, check them out!

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  • 1 × IMUduinoBTLE The latest from Femtoduino, the IMUduinoBTLE uses an atmega32u4 from Atmel bootloaded as an Arduino Leonardo and a Nordic nRF8001 bluetooth 4.0 low energy chip and support components to connect to compliant devices and receive notifications for the watch. It’s tiny size and low power consumption make it perfect for use in this new watch. Now with an on board IMU, the IMUduinoBTLE has 10 DOF and a high precision barometer on board, enabling complex motion and the precise altitude to be incorporated by the user!
  • 1 × 1.5″ full color OLED display with onboard microSD card slot from Mike Rankin A step up from the monochrome .96″ OLED display of v4.2, this screen also consumes very little power thanks to the OLED technology behind it and can show beautiful images that will be the GUI for the smart watch. Now that there’s an sd card on board, I can use fancy graphics and make it look professional and keep the code to the microcontroller, enabling more to be coded instead of storing images too.
  • 1 × 3D Pedometer Module from Nicerf This tiny, tiny module will connect to the watch’s I2C lines as the DS1307 does, and counts steps using a tiny accelerometer and buffer memory. It’ll be used to add fitness tracking capability to the watch and in conjunction with the phone app, keep track of calories burned and activity levels! Oh, and did I say this thing was tiny?
  • 1 × Samsung NFC Tec Tile An advanced NFC tag that when placed under the OLED screen's glass, will allow users to scan the watch with their phones and automatically connect themselves to it via bluetooth, and open up a web page with documentation and source code!
  • 1 × DS1307 RTC A trusty real time clock, forms the backbone of the timekeeping functionality a watch is useful for.
  • 1 × MCP73831 Charge Controller Charges the battery and provides charge status information.
  • 1 × 500mAh Lithium Polymer Battery The battery that powers the watch. With how things are looking, an 18-24 hour battery life is to be expected.
  • 1 × Flickable Side-Mounted Selector Switch
  • 1 × Vibration Motor for notifications

Project logs
  • v6.1 PCBs Are Here!

    7 days ago • 0 comments

    After about a week of anxious waiting, 30, I repeat 30, perfect and glistening .8mm PCBs arrived on my doorstep from Bay Area Circuits out of you guessed it, San Francisco. The material is strong and uniform and perfectly cut, the traces are heavy and sharp, and the soldermask is incredibly detailed. These are by far the nicest PCBs I've ever seen next to OSHPark and I'm incredibly happy with the results. Customer service was beyond helpful in offering me a steep student discount and the custom thickness, and to receive 30 units on top makes my experience with this fab a very pleasurable experience. Using the offset holes in some of the header rows on the OLED and IMUduinoBTLE, I'll press fit them both in and run a test to make sure the connections will work. After that I'll film my entry video showing the demo and finish my Hackaday Prize entry before the deadline! Here are the PCBs!

  • GUI + Form Factor Test

    8 days ago • 0 comments

    In an effort to see what the GUI on the finished watch could look like, I formatted the default screen image of the iPod Nano that my OLED Watch v4.2 sits in a case for that is seen in this test to see what kind of detail and color I could get out of a set of Icons, the time, and a background image. I'm amazed at the results, and with a GUI of my own design, this watch will not only be functional and sport many cool hardware features, but also have a smooth, easy to use GUI to go along with it. Even crudely fitted into this wrist case, it clearly resembles a sleek and beautiful smart watch, and in its own 3d modeled and printed case, it will look just as good as it will perform. This test has made me even more excited to assemble my first prototype as early as this weekend when the latest revision's pcbs arrive from Bay Area Circuits.

  • New Revision

    19 days ago • 0 comments

    After talking with Alex of, I realized some critical errors in the 6.0 design due to the fact that the IMUduinoBTLE regulates to and has a logic level of 3.3v, which isn't enough to charge the lithium battery with. The watch now charges straight from USB in, which is perfect, and while I was there, I enabled the option for another power source to be added such as a wireless inductive charging ring to provide the battery charger with its charging power. The IMUduino has been moved over a bit to allow the watch to go together several mm thinner, and with some more tweaks added here and there, the new revision of the PCB is far superior to the last. After this PCB is manufactured, I'll have a functional and much better equipped smart watch that's thinner and more feature loaded. Here's what it looks like!

View all 19 project logs


Mark Jeronimus wrote 3 days ago null point

Oh another promising watch. I LOVE THIS TOO. I was searching for smart watches that I can program on and came back empty every time. The Pebble doesn't multitask, the TI doesn't have matrix display, the WIMM, Sony, i'm Watch and others don't have enough buttons, are Android (overkill) or don't last long (not to mention that I can't verify my specific requirements without hands-on experience)

I want a wrist-device with RTC (doh), matrix display that's always on (even when stationary), easily programmable, lasts 20 hours on a charge, and at least four buttons (for up, down, enter and back). Will yours be able to do this once finished?

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

Walltech wrote 3 days ago null point

Most certainly! The 500mah battery should give it plenty of run time according to rough calculations and rounding up, but I'll test it for sure when it's complete, and it's a fully featured Arduino Leonardo so the convenience and community surrounding the Arduino microcontroller is at your disposal. The flick switch on the side has an up down and push in state, and with the on board accelerometer, a tap on the screen will be the fourth 'select' state. The reasoning you cited is half of why I've created this watch, the other half being the fun of planning designing and building it, I'm glad you like it. This watch is also cross compatible with iOS and Android to, so unlike every other smart watch in existence, anyone with either device can develop and use the full feature set of the watch as well as the unique features you've pointed out.

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

Mark Jeronimus wrote 2 days ago null point

That's great. Although I really want the rock switch to do enter and have a separate microswitch on the left or something (not the same height to prevent pushing both at the same time). I own the same rock switch btw, salvaged from an USB MP3 player.

We really need people your age! I bet you're getting a lot of eyes because what you're doing is not typical for people your age, but when I was about 14 I started hacking together lots of stuff and studied boolean logic, digital signal processing and 3D raytracing, which are normally advanced college courses. When I grew older I stayed the same geek but with increasingly many ideas and less time on my hands I could barely finish any project anymore, and after even more time the motivation for starting projects got lost altogether.

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

Walltech wrote a day ago null point

I've definitely gained much attention with this project, Make: interviewed me and wrote an article, and my website and twitter have been exploding with curious and very supportive people. I'm warmly appreciative of all the support that I've received and am genuinely happy and excited so many in fact are interested. Watch this space for a prototype very soon!

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

Jared Sanson wrote 6 days ago null point

Nice project, I too am building my own OLED smart watch :)
What kind of battery life do you get?

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

Walltech wrote 6 days ago null point

I don't have an assembled prototype as of right now, that'll change very shortly, and one of the things to test is power consumption and battery life. It should definitely last over a day with 500mah, it's probably closer to 2 or 3.

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

shraavan97 wrote 2 months ago null point

I am really impressed with your project! Are planning to add a touchscreen to your watch?

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

Walltech wrote 2 months ago null point

Hello! Thanks for the interest! At the moment, no, I'm not planning to add a touch screen as I haven't worked with one before and so it wasn't a part of the design process. The 3 way switch is spring loaded, tactile, and feels good to casually flick up and down, and is in the perfect position on the watch to place your thumb on the left side, your middle finger in the middle of the switch's side, and actuate the switch with your index finger. Add a flowing UI and the switch should be more than enough and as simple as a touch screen to use. I have thought about it, but I'm not quite sure if they're made to my size or how to support them with arduino in hardware or software. Thanks for your question!

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

Walltech wrote a month ago null point

As now that the watch has such an incredibly accurate 9 DOF IMU, I scan detect taps on the screen with the accelerometer and use the spring switch to swipe up and down. You could tap on the sides of the watch to navigate that way too. Tilting to scroll when the watch is awake, anything really. You could hold a magnet and use it as a stylus with the magnetometer, there are an incredible amount of features I can make use of, and you can too with the open source code!

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

Jasmine wrote 2 months ago null point

You should still submit it asap as community voting starts soon. It doesn't have to be finished at this point. We want to see the evolution through the project logs. Hope you have a great time on your holiday.

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

Walltech wrote 2 months ago null point

I'm looking for a way I can print and scan the form where I am. I would hate to miss out on entering before voting starts.

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

Jasmine wrote 2 months ago null point

Hello Walltech, I'm really impressed with your project. Can't wait to see it develop over the summer.

btw - we've updated the submission process for The Hackaday Prize, so if you want to *officially* enter this project - login and use the 'submit to' under your project images on the left hand side.

Also, we're starting community judging shortly, so now is the time to make sure you've added info to the project so people can see why you should win The Hackaday Prize. You might also like to add a few more details to your profile page, so we can get to know you better.

Got any questions? Give me a shout. Good luck

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]


[this comment has been deleted]

Walltech wrote 2 months ago -1 point

Thanks for your interest! I won't have access to a printer/scanner for two more weeks as I'm on vacation, and as soon as I get back, I'll be officially entering the contest with the form. I'll be sure to apply your advice to the project page too! Thanks!

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]