Purism smartwatch?

After listening to Brain Lunduke’s interview with Purism on the Librem 5, Todd mentioned that one of their goals is to get smaller in size (5:07), starting at the 15" laptop, 13" laptop, 11" tablet, and now the 5" phone. Does this mean that after the Librem 5 takes off, their next goal is to create a smartwatch made to work with the Librem 5 or even independently?

Haha :slightly_smiling_face:. I think it is more about the design thickness then a complete new product. Especially that smartwatch is hard market.

But funny enough I have to admit that I would have an interest in something like this too :slight_smile:
Actually I did develop a free firmware including a small Bluetooth stack for the MetaWatch smartwatches some years ago. It was quite fun! What I currently do not like at all with today’s smartwatches is that they basically try to cram a smartphone into a watch case. This is a nice challenge from an engineering perspective but horrible from a user’s perspective. I want a watch to:

  • show me important information, like time, all the time and not only when the display gets activated
  • must be readable even in the brightest sunlight
  • must have battery life of at least a week with a single charge and average per day use
  • should not be thick, bulky and/or heavy

The Pebble watches were IMHO a very good approach to these goals - and actually I still wear a Pebble Time Round every day.

I could imagine to start with a playground hardware platform, more like a pocket “watch”, a bit bigger etc., to explore technologies and then to shrink this into a writ watch one day. As CPU platform I could imagine that the Nordic Semiconductor NRF52xxx could be nice. The issue is though that parts of the SDK are not free, like the Bluetooth stack.

So yes, the idea is not fully out of scope but it is currently not on our roadmap :slight_smile:



It wouldn’t call it a smart watch but I am experimenting with a Xiaomi Mi Band 2.
The Band isn’t open source but it is possible to send commands to it from Linux.

Things I just tested from my Linux PC:
-) Vibrate/Show incoming Call
-) Vibrate/Show incoming Message
-) Read Battery state (state in percent, last charged date/time)
-) Read DateTime of the Band
-) Read Step Counter

In other code examples I read about custom vibration, color change and set time of the band.
I hope I can make it work for my Librem5.

The band has only basic functions:
-) Time
-) 20 days batterylife (manufacturer info)
-) stepcounter
-) Heart Rate Sensor
-) vibrate on Incoming Call
-) vibrate on Incoming Message

I’m looking for a watch-size smart phone replacement. I already have a chinese smart watch with a 3G SIM card slot running regular Andoid, but it’s almost useless with rectangle windowed apps on a round (watch face) screen.

I don’t intend to read or write a lot on that smart watch. Voice control would be nice, but optional. It could be a classic (Swiss) watch simply running a GNU/Linux operating system and connecting to my office peripherals (screens, keyboard, mouse) whenever I’m near. This way I could carry my “computer” along with me wherever I go.

A smartwatch with cellular modem is, at least from my point of view, currently not feasible to create based on free software. For such a device you are limited chipsets / SOCs which include all radios on the same silicon as the CPU and none of these comply to freedom requirements we want to see met.
What I could rather imagine is a small always on device like a watch which serves as a remote display with limited input and probably also as wireless security device (to unlock your primary device, store keys, authentication purposes etc.). But something like this is unlikely to be developed within the next year, so don’t hold your breath on it :slight_smile:



That’s how I would like to do phone calls in future. With a classic, analog watch doing phone calls.

I very much would like to see the Librem 5 working with something like GadgetBridge.


I believe that this definitely goes along with Purism’s goal of being the Apple of Linux.
Many Apple devices already have valid free’d competitors:

Watches, are one of the few areas without free’d alternatives. You best bet is OS Watch.There has been some developments with putting AsteroidOS on a Beagle Board, perhaps Purism could do something like this?

I’d checkout the Turris Omnia router. I believe it’s totally freed

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I’d checkout the Turris Omnia router. I believe it’s totally freed

This is a common misunderstanding.
The Turris Omnia is not free’d: https://forum.turris.cz/t/is-turris-applying-for-ryf-certification/8602/
Sadly, it is hard to find any fully free’d hardware. :slight_smile:

Ah, thanks for pointing that out. Seems like they are kinda in the same position as Purism then. Trading some closedness for better specs. Hopefully they and Purism can continue to make strides towards freeing everything

Reviving this dead thread with this link…seems like something within Purism’s grasp and something everyone would appreciate and want to buy: a privacy respecting smartwatch.


I like that project a lot!
The heavy lifting is done very nicely - pretty cool. I can not promise anything but at I am personally very interested in a free and proper smartwatch. Actually I have developed a smartwatch OS for microcontrollers (at that time MSP430 running on a Metawatch) a while back, fully free including the beginnings of a small Bluetooth stack :slight_smile: I just must mention it to prove my passion for it. ATM I wear my trusted Pebble Time Round which to me is still the best smartwatch hardware - always on display, thin, lightweight, battery lasts between 3 days to a week (depending on usage).

So yes, I hear you :slight_smile:



Hey, what do you think about it?
it seems interesting…


I guess the biggest question would be: what kinds of functionality do you want from your smartwatch form factor device? Are health sensors the main thing?

Looking at the specs … the RAM and storage are definitely low end. It is one thing to offer customisation but there has to be sufficient RAM and storage in order to contain your additional apps! The time between charges is not particularly good either, although that may be down to standby functionality. It doesn’t appear to have GNSS capability, which is available on some similar kinds of devices. Whether that is important to you only you know.

The big plus is … open source software (both within the device and on the associated host computer) … so that you control your data. There has to be some concern that where data is uranium (or gold), life insurance companies will be wanting this data, the court system will be wanting this data, …


Wasn’t @dcz working on a smartwatch project? I think I saw it somewhere (external site), but can’t seem to find it now.


Yes, but it was more focused on cycling. (Yes, it is mentioned in this forum, not that either that product or this product is directly relevant to Purism.)

Edit: Adding link for you: . thanks: about: purism: dorota czaplejewicz