Designing a DIY smartwatch with Arduino Pro Mini



A DIY open source smartwatch powered by an Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega328 MCU) running at 3.3v recently surfaced on Instructables. Designed by GodsTale, the RetroWatch is equipped with Bluetooth, a small Adafruit OLED display and a LiPo battery.

Assembly? Bluetooth-> Arduino, OLED-> Arduino, USB to UART module-> Arduino, a button (10k-ohm resistance) and a battery (+) -> RAW, GND -> GND.

On the software side, the watch runs Android 4.3 which supports advanced notification services. Makers will also need to install graphic libraries (Adafruit_SSD1306, Adafruit-GFX-Library) to draw images, shapes and fonts on the OLED, as well the RetroWatch Arduino source code from GitHub.

“You must copy the header file that contains bitmap images to load and use them. You should copy bitmap.h in RetroWatchArduino folder to /Arduino install folder/Arduino/hardware/libraries/RetroWatch. If there’s no such folder, simply [create] it,” GodsTale explained in his Instructables post.

“Open Arduino IDE and load RetroWtchArduino.ino. Next, set pin numbers that you used when you connect the watch. It’s not necessary to modify if you use Arduino pins that are [detailed] in this instruction. SoftwareSerialBTSerial(2,3); // Input your TX, RX pin numbers int buttonPin = 5; // Input your button pin number.”

The DIY RetoWatch features a number of basic modes or displays such as clock, emergency messages, normal messages and idle. Additional key features include:

  • 65 icons
  • Stores 7 normal messages, three emergency
  • Supports RSS feeds
  • Counts unread emails
  • 
Clock style can be easily altered
  • 7 hour battery (140mAh)

Interested in learning more? You can check out the official RetroWatch Instructables page here.

2 thoughts on “Designing a DIY smartwatch with Arduino Pro Mini



  1. Pingback: Build your own activity monitor with ATmega328 | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

  2. Pingback: What time is it? These DIY clocks say it’s Maker time! | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s