Making a Smart Watch

Sasha Pachev sasha at
Wed Feb 13 16:58:17 MST 2013

Question for the EE nerds. I want to make a smart watch similar to
MotoACTV with the following capabilities:

- a low-end ARM processor
- maybe 128 MB RAM
- a good GPS receiver (best that can fit on a watch without adding
more than $50 to the cost)
- ANT+ capability
- some built in flash and SD card storage, maybe 1 GB total
- a display without a touch screen, but a few buttons that are easy to
press intentionally and hard to press otherwise
- basic WiFi

Basically, the deliverable needed at this point is one unit that I can
load some light ARM Linux image on and start hacking. I've messed
around with a rooted MotoACTV and have gotten some good results with
my running GPS watch app, but that obviously has limitations, both
technical and legal, for developing and marketing what I want.
Technically, Android is an overkill, although I could load something
lighter with some work, the unit has terrible battery life mainly due
to the hog-like properties of the GPS, and legally I cannot market it
in the existing form anyway.

My end goal is to release an open-platform low-cost smart watch, but
first I need to get a prototype device.

What are my options, what are the steps I need to take, and what kind
of price tag am I looking at? My expertise is in software, my EE
geekiness ends with some very basic understanding of circuit
components. I am willing to learn, though, and I am also willing to
outsource given there is a good bang for the buck.

Sasha Pachev

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