This 60-LED watch may be the geekiest timepiece ever. And we love it.
Aside from the pocket protector, the wristwatch has become a staple for any true geek. And we’re not just talking about any ordinary wrist-adorned device, it has to be unique — the dorkier, the better. So whether you’re a businessman, an athlete or an engineer, anyone looking to show off their geekery will surely love the latest creation from Terminus Electronics: a wearable that displays time using LEDs rather than the typical pair of rotating hands or digits.
Dubbed DECKO, the half-dollar-sized watch reveals the time by animating 60 LEDs on a circuit board face. Admittedly, it is as basic of a “smartwatch” as they come with only a few features like motion and tap detection for wake-up, and light sensing for auto-brightness. Unlike most of its teched-out counterparts, however, the device boasts a low profile and can last for six to 12 months on a single coin-cell battery.
In order to tell time, the hour winds from 12 o’clock around to the current hour, while the minute hand animates in place after the hour hand stops. This allows both the hour and minute to be distinguishable even when they overlap.
The low-power timepiece sleeps to save power when not in use, and wakes up when put into the usual horizontal viewing position. The watch can also be turned on and off by double-tapping the side of its case.
Time set mode is accessed with a quadruple tap of the watch, while a subsequent tap is required to start the process. This will cause the minute hand to begin rolling like a marble around the clock. From there, the time can be adjusted by simply rolling your wrist forward or backwards, and locked in by holding it steady.
An interesting feature of the DECKO is that it not only shows the time but how its embedded electronics work. Based on an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 MCU (which could be found the center of the face), the watch packs a 32 kHz crystal oscillator to keep time, an accelerometer to detect orientation and movement, and a light sensor to measure ambient light. The electronics are soldered to the board and housed inside a rugged metal case that is available in aluminum (black or silver) and brass.
What’s more, the wearable is water-resistant and fully customizable. The case fits standard 18mm NATO and ZULU straps, enabling you to mix and match various styles — ranging from steampunk for Maker Faire to patriotic for 4th of July celebrations. DECKO is available in a caseless version as well, which gives Makers the choice of designing their own enclosure for the inner PCB face.
Does this look like a watch you’d love to have? Head over to DECKO’s Kickstarter page, where the team is currently seeking $60,000. The first batch of devices is slated to begin shipping in November 2015.