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My ideal smartwatch

Since tomorrow is expected to be the ‘iWatch’ day, I think it is a good time to show you all something I designed a while ago. I was hoping to use it somehow, but it looks like it will die in one of my computer folders, so I prefer to share it and hear what you think about it.

I intended to enter into Intel’s wearable competition, but missed the deadline. Due to my poor knowledge of electronics I contacted @0xDA_bit to help me with the feasibility. I also involved my good friend and better designer @erikerice to help me with the UI design. They both made a great contribution :)

The design was not made for aesthetic purposes but for practical ones. The idea of a smartwatch is really cool. However, it is not practical. Particularly, I found the following issues really annoying:
– Battery-related problems (that’s obvious)
– What if I want to track my sleep? I can’t because the smartwatch is being charged
– What if I want to track my exercise during a football match? Or while swimming? To be honest, I wouldn’t be very happy practising any kind of sport with a £250 big, nice, cool, fancy super watch.

The idea of taking out the watch every single night and every time I go for exercise puts me off.

To cover those issues, my design proposal was orientated towards practicality.
The device is divided in 2 parts:
Sensor strap: main sensors (pulse monitor, vibrator, pedometer, etc.) are located in a small part along with a small battery. There is no need for the user to remove the strap at any time. A second iteration would be to include all of those sensors along the strap.
Main body: contains the screen, Bluetooth module and main electronics. Is the ‘brain’ of the device, connects with the sensor strap (receiving the data from the sensors) and with the external devices (e.g. phone) for notifications. It also contains the main battery, which can be used to charge the ‘sensor strap’.

smartwatch1

The main body would be really easy to remove from the strap, as well as really easy to attach again (I had designed a very nice mechanism using magnets and a kind of a broche) using a big external side button.
The sensor strap would be water resistant and would be compatible with any existing 20mm-ish strap.

The main body (3D model) was designed in less than 2 hours, but the idea was to keep the mechanical aspect of a watch by having the hands running on the outside, and a big round screen in the middle (hopefully without the Moto360 black-bottom-screen-strap :P).

smartwatch.4

This is it (apologies for the rushed renders). I just wanted to make that project public as I won’t be using it. It is a shame because I was very excited about it, but I already have another one in mind :D.

Thanks again @erikerice and @0xDA_bit for all your help ;)

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  1. It should be possible to make a touch sensitive round rim for a round watch. Would be ideal to swipe or tap only on the rim of the watch, much like the first ipod (or make the watch glass tap sensitive only, and the rim swipe sensitive). I dislike the ideas of swiping middle the watch glass, or speech commands. Definitely a ‘vibrator’ at the back side of the watch for quiet notifications. Bluetooth connectivity should configurable from the watch menu, such as audio output to a bluetooth headset. The ideal smartwatch makes the world a much quieter place (the office, the train). I would like to connect my ideal smartwatch with a GSM tablet, which can stay in a bag/pocket during phone calls or listen to music, and sell the smartphone.

      • Your idea of a smart strap is very interesting. No idea what the most ergonomic strap might be, maybe it has a magnetic locking mechanism as well? Bio sensors can be integrated with the strap (good thinking!), day and night, and gadgets can be attached to the strap, such as a smart watch, universal remote control with infrared port, etc … Batteries always make a mess of portable stuff design. An energy efficient successor of bluetooth is needed, actually.