Flora BLE Smartwatch

Using the Adafruit Flora with a BLE 4.0 module and a neopixel ring, I created a compact smartwatch with a flexible 3D printed enclosure.

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Everyone has their own opinion on how a smartwatch should function. Should it be an extension of your smartphone or a smart device on it's own? My thought - is it too much to ask for both? As an owner of a Moto360 running Android Wear and the Samsung S2 running Tizen, I find myself no longer using them. The only thing I found useful was using them as a notification extension. Every smartwatch has different features, but none of them suit my daily lifestyle. Inspired by [Elliot]'s Smartwatch I decided to see if I could create one of my own.

I wanted to find the smallest way to combine all the features I wanted into a slick design. I found the Flora modules stacked nicely at about 9mm tall. The Flora also included a JST power connector for a lithium ion battery, so no external power boost was necessary. I chose a 12 neopixel ring because of it's size and also 12 is a nice number when you're making an analog watch. I was able to 3D print an enclosure with a flexible filament that fits nicely on the wrist.

The watch also has a companion Android app that sends data to the BLE module. Once the device connects it sends the time to the watch and the watch takes care of the rest using the Ticker library. It sends a heartbeat signal to make sure the time stays in sync. This avoids a need for an RTC.

The companion app allows for configuration of the watch as well. You can set the color and brightness for the hour, minute, and second pixel. The watch can also be set in different modes:

  • Only show hour/minute
  • Update the second's pixel every second, where the second's pixel will rotate 5 times a minute
  • Update the second's pixel mapped, where the second's pixel will rotate 1 time a minute

Since notifications was the main focus of the watch, the user can setup different colors and patterns for each app's notification.

The watch also includes a caller ID where you can assign up to 12 contacts per color.

This is only v1 with more features/functionality to come including

  • Embedded RFID chip
  • Light sensor
  • Configurable button
  • GPS/Accelerometer module
  • Dismiss notifications



simplify3d_stl - 1.95 MB - 03/27/2017 at 17:06


simplify3d_stl - 574.38 kB - 03/27/2017 at 17:06




simplify3d_stl - 217.56 kB - 03/27/2017 at 17:06


  • 1 × Adafruit Flora
  • 1 × Adafruit Flora Bluefruit LE
  • 1 × NeoPixel Ring (12)
  • 1 × Lithium Ion Polymer Battery 3.7V 100mAh

  • Live Notification Demo

    Austin Nelson04/05/2017 at 17:57 0 comments

    A short demo of incoming notifications sent via bluetooth to the smartwatch. Configured different apps to have different colors and different patterns

  • Companion App Demo Video

    Austin Nelson04/05/2017 at 17:56 0 comments

    Demo of enabling and configuring notifications

  • Battery Test 1

    Austin Nelson03/29/2017 at 13:25 0 comments

    I am currently using a 3.7V 100mAh lithium ion battery. So far I have run two tests: 100% brightness (too bright to view) and 5% brightness (my optimal viewing preference).

    100% brightness - 2hr 22mins
    5% brightness - 5hr 45mins

    This is without any bluetooth or further battery optimizations. I am also looking into upgrading to a 500mAh battery as there is still plenty of room left to add a bigger battery.

    You do have to disconnect to recharge, however the batteries are very cheap ($2-7) and can be swapped while the other is charging.

    Other updates:
    • I have taken apart an RFID chip and found it would fit perfectly in the center of the watch or even on the watch band. However I damaged the outer induction coil so was not able to further test.
    • I am switching the companion app to use rxJava for BLE which will make implementing future features faster and easier.
    • I am working on a custom 'virtual' watch in the app so you can preview features before you apply them to the watch

View all 3 project logs

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