TI has a watch development kit called Chronos, that opens up for a lot of cool testing and some fun and useful projects. The watch itself has a 3-axis accelerometer, pressure sensor, temperature sensor, battery voltage sensor and a programmable MSP430 MCU. The kit comes with a USB programmer and a USB RF unit that can be used as an access point for sending and receiving messages to the watch.
It really opens up for some cool apps. I’ve made some already, but I’m looking forward to playing with it more. For example I know get an alert on my watch whenever I have a new email incoming.
I’m also making an ethernet gateway for the wireless network that I can plug into the Ethernet port of my home router. It will allow my watch to report stuff into the cloud, and will allow web apps to send alerts to my watch.
It’s obviously a sports watch that can potentially be connected to lots of sensors, and I really now need to build myself a compatible wireless ECG (though you can actually buy a heart rate monitor band for it). It can report onto the internet what my heart rate is and maybe also let you know if I have any heart issues 🙂
But there are many other possible application areas also. I can imagine a network of these ethernet gateways around that offer you services as you move around. Sure this can be done on the mobile also, but the watch has some benefits.
The watch itself is quite low cost and the display scratches quite easily, and is probably not the best of watches. The kit costs 49$. It’s really innovative of TI to come out with an open system like this prized so aggressively, showing their capabilities and allowing people to prototype some new cool apps. I highly recommend getting one and having a play.
Will we be facing an open watch revolution? Where is the Apple watch? Hmmm… Or the Google Watch.
Most of the software is open source, and there’s also OpenChronos which is a completely open source version.