PineTime Smart Watch — Awesome Open Source

My smart watch is open source. Awesome!

PineTime from Pine64 (product | shop | wiki)

The PineTime is made of open-source hardware and open-source software.

Read a detailed review by It's MOSS.

Being created in order to inspire open development, Pine64 sell it directly for a very low price. It comes as a working product ready to use. For developers, the similarly priced development kit is recommended.

I haven't worn a watch for decades, but I am so happy this exists, I have ordered one.

Actually, to be candid, I ordered one because I want to be more intentional about promoting open source products. We can tell our friends we don't need Apple or Google owning us. But telling is weak. Showing is strong.

A few weeks later... here it is! Woohoo!

I installed GadgetBridge from F-Droid on my degoogled Android phone, and connected it. Upgrading the Infinitime firmware from version 1.6.0 as supplied, to the then current version 1.11.0, went smoothly.

What Does it Do?

It tells the time. It notifies me, with vibration and on-screen display, of notifications shown on my phone. It can control a music player on my phone, start/stop, track skip, and volume control. Those are the functions I find useful, at least initially.

There's an intriguing “navigation” screen, as in map directions. I have not been able to make it do anything, and on searching online found a note that it “only works with PureMaps/Sailfish OS”. That's a pity. I wonder if it can and will be made to work with the awesome open source Organic Maps.

Maybe you are more interested in the step counting and heart rate monitoring. There are also some little gadgets like timers, scribbling, metronome, and mini-games.

Where Next?

This is a hacker's watch, a hackable watch. Infinitime OS is not the only OS it can run. There is also Wasp-OS, and instructions on how to switch between Infinitime and Wasp-OS.

On either operating system, it's possible to add new functions. I would like to learn how to do so. For instance, I would like to monitor and control my smart home gadgets.

Alternatives

Other smart watches exist with open-source hardware and software designs. Some are hacker-only projects, which you can build yourself, such as Bellafaire's and more that we can find in round-ups such as this and this.

Here are the ones I know that are available to buy.

And finally, I came across an interesting project by “dcz” who has begun making a bike “computer” based on Bangle.js watch hardware with custom software: Jazda.


This article is part of my Open Source Gadgets series.


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