Instead, head to YouTube and discover how you can repurpose that old mobile phone that you thought you’d never use again. Under the guidance of YouTube how-to guru Daniel Davis, you can build your own smartwatch, because who really wants to spend money on a Pebble these days?
As Davis explains in a post on Make, he didn’t want his Nokia 1100 phone to go to waste, so he decided to take it out of storage and see if he could put it on his wrist. When he began disassembling the device, he found that it had a “nice, hackable screen, as well as a little vibrating motor for notifications.” So with nothing more than a few resistors, he managed to “get the screen working using an Arduino.” Then, to really take things to the next level, he added a Bluetooth module and “a little bit of code,” which allowed his old Nokia to send phone and text notifications like a brand new smartwatch.
Davis made use of a 3.7 volt rechargeable battery and a charging board for power, and then rounded out the wearable with a 3D-printed case and a watch strap.
While it may not be the single most aesthetically pleasing smartwatch we’ve ever seen, it’s certainly a fun project and a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. And of course, if you wanted a sleeker look, you could always design a different case or find a band that better suits your style. All the same, it’s a far cheaper alternative to buying any other smartwatch currently on the market, and a great way to stretch your creative muscles. So dig out those old Nokia phones, friends. And get hacking.