There are a ton of open source hardware projects built around the Arduino microcontroller…such as the Airmonica musical instrument and the Pixelate interactive eating game, however none of these offer the aesthetic appeal of DoNothingBox’s OSWatch. Let me rephrase that, nothing has more of a fad appeal like a “smartwatch.” I want it, but don’t know why…

Along with the recent announcement of the Apple Watch, smart watches have become increasingly popular as wearable computing devices that act as an extension to smartphones. There are literally dozens of smart watches either already on the market or about to hit it, including Sony’s SmartWatch, Pebble Watch and Samsung’s Galaxy Gear to name just a few, however those don’t feature open-sourced hardware or even software for that matter, unlike Jonathan Cook’s creation, ‘Open Source Watch‘.

As the saying goes, “beauty is only skin deep and it’s what’s inside that counts“…

…which in this case is true:


Underneath the exterior lies some impressive open-source hardware built upon the Microduino-Core+ (ATmega644p @5v 16MHz). The other main components connected to the microcontroller include an Adafruit 1.3-inch monochromatic OLED display and a BlueGiga Bluetooth LE module for Wi-Fi connectivity, which are all packed into an open source 3D printed case.


The watch makes use of the Linux OS platform and users can create their own customized apps using the iOS Shell app. The base programming for the watch is done through customized Arduino libraries, which can all be downloaded from DoNothingBox’s website and are already compiled for ease of use.

Jonathan details how to assemble the watch but warns it really isn’t for beginners as there is some high-level soldering involved and the voltage regulator needs to be modified to run at 3.3v at 8MHz, which can be tricky if you haven’t had experience doing similar projects before.


The great thing about the OSWatch is that everything can be customized and modified to suit the user’s taste, provided you have an iPhone to communicate with the watch. The OSWatch isn’t yet compatible with Android users, however DoNothingBox is currently working on a version for the popular platform.

Those interested in building their own can head over to DoNothingBox’s website for a complete parts list and software packages, but you will need to either have your own 3D printer or outsource the design to make the case.

Perhaps one of the first things to modify once you have the file is the industrial design?


The one-man ace engineering wrecking crew - If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire... the Cabe-team.