When a colleague retires it is possible to imagine a wide range of suitable gifts for that person but a group of engineers at CERN decided to take the long way and create something special. For four months, the group met after official working hours to give substance to the F * Watch an electronic clock open source loaded with GPS, compass, accelerometer and light sensor.
A few years ago anyone would have thought that the wristwatch follow a similar path that runs along the typewriter, assuming the role of curiosity replaced by a more modern alternative. Today we discovered that both clocks and typewriters are still in force, either through dedicated enthusiasts or projects that seek to reinterpret these tools and transform them into more aligned with the time accessory. This has led to things like the recent Hemingwrite and widening battalion smart watches.Of course, the commercial world is not the only asset. Riders of open source are developing all kinds of watches and one of the most recent comes from CERN, whose engineers left to explore the universe for a while with particle accelerators to create the F * Watch .
The F * Watch was born as a farewell gift for a co-worker who was about to retire. Control all aspects of the manufacture of a wrist watch is not easy, and required a total of four months with meetings outside working hours, multiple drawings, circuit development, procurement of parts, 3D printing and up to each manual adjustment buttons. The F * Watch is not a smart watch, but it is pretty close by using an ARM Cortex-M3 chip, accompanied by 128 kilobytes of RAM and a megabyte of Flash memory. The F * Watch also has a GPS module, barometer, compass, accelerometer sensor for measuring light levels and a microSD slot, all powered by a LiPo battery 500 mA.
The development of the F * Watch was made with tools open source (as FreeCAD and KiCAD) and I must say that the result is excellent. F * Watch already has a dedicated repository, therefore, all stakeholders have access to the software, parts list and design files. It is not gold as in other races, but carries the love and dedication of extremely intelligent people who decided to share their creation with the rest of the community.