We've developed a watch that combines the latest in small, low-power electronics to do what a watch does - tell time!
The watch displays time by animating sixty LEDs on a circuit board face about the size of a half-dollar. Though intentionally not a "smart watch", it's got some of the same features like motion and tap detection for wakeup, and light sensing for auto-brightness. Unlike most smart watches though, it has a low profile and will run for 6-12 months on a single coin-cell battery.
Animated Time Display
Time is displayed by animating the LEDs. The hour winds from 12 o'clock around to the current hour, then stops with its tail pinned evenly on the hour (the head extends as the hour progresses). The minute hand animates in place after the hour hand stops so that the hour and minute are distinguishable even when they overlap.
Auto Sleep and Wake
The watch sleeps to save power when not in use. To wake up, the watch uses an integrated motion sensor to track when it moves into a horizontal viewing orientation. The watch can also be turned on and off by double-tapping the side of the watch case. Here's a short clip showing this functionality and how time is updated.
The DECKO shows off the tiny electronics that make it work. A microntroller at the center of the watch face controls everything (Part A: Atmel SAMD21E -- the same chip used in the Arduino Zero). To measure time, a tiny crystal oscillates at 32,768 Hz producing a signal to the microcontroller (Part B: ABS05-32.768KHZ). A photodiode measures ambient light (Part C: KDT00030TR), and an accelerometer measures position and movement (Part D: ST LISDH12). A standard CR2032 coin cell battery inside the case powers the watch.
Once soldered, these components are permanently bonded to the board and will not break off. For water and abrasion protection, we apply a MIL-SPEC urethane coating on top of the circuit board and components, and seal the battery compartment using a gasket. The rugged metal case extends above the electrical components to add additional protection.
The embedded software we've written controls everything you see on the DECKO. It keeps track of time, controls which LEDs are on and their brightness, manages movement and tap events, and much more. The core of the software is fully developed and functional (we wear our prototype watches everyday and they work great for us!).
That being said though, we would still like to add some cool features and customizations to the software. We'll be tinkering and soliciting feedback from backers as the project progresses so the final version really makes the most of all that the underlying software has to offer.
We started developing the watch about a year ago and have made several prototypes over many design iterations. Our first circuit board had slots for the strap and did not require a case. For the second iteration, we 3-D printed cases but the strap handles were not strong enough and broke often. The final cases are CNC-machined from aluminum and brass, so they are quite rugged.
We've been making all the prototypes by hand -- below is a timelapse of the process.
The case fits standard 18 mm NATO and ZULU straps so the style combinations are endless.
And for even more customization, get the caseless edition and design your own case to enclose the inner pcb face. We will provide additional dimensions and 3D CAD files to backers.
Special thanks to Chris Knight for his help. http://dayforknight.com
Video music via freemusicarchive.org. Songs used are:
- "Elevator Ride To Hell" - Adam Monroe and Adam Kopcinski
- "Vivaldi - Concerto in C Major" - Advent Chamber Orchestra
Risks and challenges
The development phase of the project is mostly complete. The electronics and mechanical case designs are stable (still experimenting with ideal finishes) and the core embedded software is fully developed (though we'll be tinkering and adding some non-essential features). We have produced 15-20 prototypes and they are working well.
The primary risks relate to scaling production and quality control on a larger scale. We have been in contact with a number of manufacturing firms we have worked with in the past who meet production requirements. We are confident in the successful completion of this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)