Feb 19, 2016 | By Benedict
With tech manufacturers now prioritizing big HD displays over basic ergonomics, smartphones are getting bigger and bigger. But wearables, at least those of the current generation, are yet to follow any discernible size trajectory. The Apple Watch is large but not monstrous, and rival companies have more or less followed Tim Cook’s lead in this respect.
With big tech brands sticking to average-sized wearables, it’s the DIY makers and designers who are toying with proportional extremes; the latest example of the trend being this 3D printed ATtiny85 Ring Watch designed by Instructables user Chen Liang. The tiny piece of technology doesn’t get close to the Apple Watch in terms of functionality, but its impressive compactness and long battery life make it an exciting DIY project for amateur tech-makers.
The tiny 3D printed wearable represents a continuation of the maker’s earlier attempt to build an ATtiny Watch core, and brings the device down to single-digit size—a “real gadget” indeed. The ring watch uses an ATTINY85V-10SU MCU to keep things on the small side, with an SSD1306 OLED screen and CR1220 battery. Other components of the Arduino-powered ring watch include a SOIC ISP clip, M2 screws, buttons, resistors, and copper wires.
The maker initially wanted to make his gadget from wood but, luckily for us, the “lazy one” 3D printed the body to save time. Although Chen did not specify his 3D printer or settings of choice, he has uploaded both the STL and SketchUp files to Thingiverse, enabling other makers to tinker with the design and adjust it for bigger or smaller fingers.
The 3D printed ring watch has already proven a hit with Instructables users, with the project receiving a number of positive comments. Appreciation of the wearable hasn’t prompted Chen to sit back and relax though. Instead, the maker has promised further improvements to the device, including a slimmer ring body, which could be achieved by replacing the existing button panel with an SMD version; other I2C modules; an amber sensor to fine tune screen brightness in direct sunlight; an advanced method of time synchronization; GPS; and WiFi connectivity.
So could ring watches be the next generation of wearable technology? The miniature device isn’t packed with features, and its size and unusual appearance could prove disadvantageous both practically and aesthetically. On the other hand (or finger), we’ve seen stranger technological trends in the past, and the DIY aspect of the device could certainly make it an appealing 3D printing project for makers who like their bling to serve a function. The device would also make an excellent gift for a loved one—as Beyonce says: “If you liked it, then you should have put a 3D printed ring watch on it”.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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alex chen wrote at 3/23/2016 11:46:18 PM:
jaime wrote at 2/20/2016 6:24:43 AM:
great! I love tiny things...