PineTime open-source smartwatch is now available for purchase
Although the dream of mobile devices and wearables running open-source software has not died, it has not been commercially successful. Some companies continue to market niche devices that target tech-savvy customers willing to give up some conveniences for greater freedom in the software they use. Pine64 is perhaps best known for its ARM Single-board Computers, (SBCs) and has just launched the PineTime, which could be the first open-source smartwatch in the world.
Pine64 has been a Raspberry Pi rival in the SBC market for a long time, but recently branched out to create new products that leverage its expertise in creating ARM-powered boards as well as running open-source software. Pinebook, a low-cost consumer Linux notebook running on an Allwinner AARM chip, was their first offering. Its name became famous with the PinePhone, which has attracted the support of many Linux users and open-source communities.
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Although the company was also involved in the PineTab tablet project, it was the PineTime smartwatch which caught our attention. After a huge interest, it became a politician’s project. The PineTime finally went on sale after a long development process.
Even entry-level smartwatches made by big brands, it’s not able to compete in hardware or software. It is powered by a 64MHz Cortex M4F from NORDIC, which has 64KB RAM. The battery lasts for 170-180 mAh. It has a 1.3-inch square resolution and only 65K color support. It supports Bluetooth5 LE, but does not have Wi-Fi and comes with a PPG pulse sensor.
If you are disappointed with the specs, then you might be missing the point of the PineTime. It is a basic smartwatch running an open-source OS, specifically InfinitimeRTOS. The PineTime, unlike most smartwatches is also friendly and able to be used with any other OS. This means that you will get the most open-source and hackable smartwatch in the world for $26.99.