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I received my Texas Instrument eZ430 – Chronos dev kit in the mail yesterday, so I decided to take a few shots of all the included goodies, and post them on Make: Online. You might be wondering what makes this watch different? Well this one is apparently ‘hackable’! Texas Instruments even includes the hardware and software to do it!

The eZ430-Chronos is a highly integrated, wearable wireless development system based for the CC430 in a sports watch. It may be used as a reference platform for watch systems, a personal display for personal area networks, or as a wireless sensor node for remote data collection.

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Not a bad looking watch, right? Although I wish the giant Ti logo wasn’t there! Also, I am a bit concerned about scratches. Then again, this will most likely end up being ripped apart and integrated into some kind of project. Did I mention it retails for $49. I picked mine up for $25 during the pre-order. Not bad for a watch with a 97 segment LCD, 3-axis accelerometer, pressure sensor, temperature sensor, and built in wireless!

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The kit comes with everything you need to program the watch. It even includes a screwdriver and extra screws! I’m not sure how much you can actually hack it, but you can send and receive data from the watch, and that should make it useful for a lot of different projects.

What’s Included

  • 2 spare screws
  • CC1111 USB RF access point
  • CD containing documentation and development software
  • Mini Phillips screwdriver
  • eZ430 USB programming and debugging interface
  • eZ430-Chronos wireless watch
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I wonder how hard it will be to get the accelerometer data from the watch into a program like Processing? I’ll let you know as soon as I get some time to check it all out.

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Here is some more information from the eZ430-Chronos Wireless Watch Development Tool website:

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  • Fully functional sports watch based on the CC430F6137, MSP430 with integrated <1GHz wireless transceiver

  • Watch reprogrammable for custom wireless applications
  • Highly integrated watch includes on-board 3-axis accelerometer, pressure sensor, temperature sensor, battery voltage sensor
  • 96-Segment LCD display driven directly by CC430
  • Can be paired wirelessly with heart rate monitors, pedometers or other devices based RF transceivers like the CC1101 or SoCs such as the CC430 or CC111x
  • Includes an eZ430 USB emulator that connects the Chronos to a PC for real-time, in-system programming and debugging
  • Includes IAR Kickstart and Code Composer Studio integrated development environments which includes an assembler, linker, simulator, source-level debugger, and code limited C-compiler

You can check out the rest of my pictures here.

So what do you all think? Is this the future of electronics? Will other companies follow, offering developmental tools for their products? Let us know your thought in the comments. Thanks!

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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