I demand BangleJS3!

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  • LCDs work on the principle of subtractive color

    I guess what NoMusicTuesdays wants to say is, that physically LCD is a light covered by coloured filters that reduce the amount of light passing through, so physically speaking it's a substractive light technology. (Please correct me if I am wrong!)

    Nevertheless. Displays usually are driven with "rgb technology" (meaning that the software controlling the display expects whatever inputs it received to be in RGB values). (Also I don't know, where I am going with this now...)

  • I saw something recently about CMYK epaper but I think that's a reasonably new thing

    It also has a refresh rate of 1 second, that's fast for epaper, but not great if you want to draw a watchface every second. I'd probably still take it over the B1 LCD, but not over the B2.

    My B3 wishlist:
    Things I'd like to see improved (over B2):

    • more buttons: 1 left, 3 right (or maybe even 3 on each side)
    • slightly larger screen, 240x240 was nice
    • user-serviceable (i.e. openable with just a screwdriver)
    • 6 bit colours (I'm quite happy with 3 bits though)
    • charging with a standard USB-C port (but that would probably kill the IP rating)
    • audible beep, or even a speaker
    • more battery+memory (it's great already, but more is always better ;-)
    • USB connection (to keep it connected to your phone while fiddling, and maybe upload a bit faster)
    • IP68 (I still wouldn't swim/shower, but more is safer)

    Things I can do without:

    • HRM
    • GPS (my phone can do that and has more battery for it)
    • barometer

    TBH, there's quite some things I liked more about the B1 than the B2, but the always-on, sunlight-readability and full touch still make the smaller screen so much better that the B2 wins out, (the larger memory is also nice).

  • Well cheers to the bangle.js team on both the js1 and js2! I've been having so much fun with the js2 this past week, that I purchased a gently used js1 on ebay, and just received it today. So far I've just upgraded the firmware and swapped a few apps in and out (and LOVING the color and contrast on the js1) but I'm super excited to have it in time to be able to develop my second app on both watches! This whole thing really is a great project, easy enough for an entry-level dabbler like myself to take on the challenge, with rewarding results, and a nice community to share ideas and projects. Very cool.

  • I guess what NoMusicTuesdays wants to say is...

    Yeah, that was my train of thought exactly!

  • V1 was clearly a hacker's device. If you see V2 also as a hacker's device it's perfect as it is. If you see it as a smartwatch it can be improved. I personally think it's perfect for hacking and it's perfect as it is. I like the simple technology - otherwise I would buy an Apple watch. BTW: More buttons mean more buttons that may stop working ... :-)

  • Does anyone actually care about the barometer?

    Personally, I'm not sure I see the use-case for having a pressure sensor on the watch, it's certainly not worth sacrificing waterproofing for. However, I think people could see real value in a microphone / speaker, and that would be something I would see as a good trade-off with regards to waterproofing.

    My wishlist would be:

    • Speaker, I think there are some really good use-cases for having a speaker for audio feedback e.g. listening to instructions, music etc.
    • Microphone, the ability to answer a call or even just send voice commands to your phone via the Bangle would be such a cool feature.
    • Stronger vibration motor, I think it's just a little too subtle. If I am for example working in a physical job and I have an alert setup on my watch, I'm not sure how likely I am to feel it.
    • Richer screen, the ability to render higher quality images would be great e.g. being able to set a background photograph or just view images from apps like WhatsApp.

    Disclaimer - I was not one of those people who were complaining to you about there not being a microphone or speaker. I think you've done an amazing job with these, and not just from a hardware perspective but with the whole Bangle ecosystem (emulator, app loader, docs etc.). So only support & praise from me, keep up the great work!

  • Add higher quality PPG/Acc sensors to the wishlist, so we can run algorithms that cancel motion artifacts.

  • Whatver the js3 turns out to be, you can count on my pledge!

    The Js2 does everything I could want... except light up with vibrant color like the js1...
    And for those citing power draing, my js2 kept it's charge over a week at a time for the first month, after that it needed to be charged every day and a half, which doesn't make up for the supposed power drain of the LED js1 screen, so I'd rather have that brilliant color light display.

    I'd like a big round watch like js1 (feels more classic than the square pebbly things) although I'd like the screen to fill up the watch face fully. That could mean a bigger screen within the large watchface, or a smaller watch to match the screen, either way is fine.

    I don't care much about waterproofing or touchscreen. I'd be more than willing to scrap the touchscreen in favor of more buttons.

    The main thing I'd like to see is improved processing/RAM/draw speed.

    The limitations of both the js1 in terms of bandwidth, and the js2 in terms of resolution and color depth, are a fun part of the project, forcing creativity on our part. I can say that I will for sure sign up for js3 on day 1!

  • Hi all, JS2 is very good. What is important for me:
    1 - Sunlight readability
    2 - Waterproofing
    3 - Good GPS

    Nice to have:
    4 - larger screen size.
    5 - more buttons
    6 - good gold plated contacts, they also can be on a side, so they do not touch skin.
    7 - rugged body / pins.

  • Just wanted to say that I love both my Bangle 1 and Bangle 2 and use them for different activities that each is more suitable for. FWIW, here are features I wish could be added or improved in a Bangle 3:

    • gyroscope (would be useful for improving accuracy of apps that analyze movement, such as gesture or step tracking)
    • better GPS (Bangle 1 is acceptable, Bangle 2 disappointing though temporarily resolvable via A-GPS)
    • brighter screen (I use the Bangle 1 for certain activities because the Bangle 2 screen is just too dim to use under low-light conditions)
    • 3 physical buttons (I designed an app to make use of the left/right touchscreen of the Bangle 1, but never imagined that sweat on my fingertips would make using a touch-based UI impractical--thank goodness for Bangle 1's 3 buttons! Also, being able to "double-click" Bangle 1's buttons for input has been quite useful, so having high-quality buttons is a must)

    Keeping my fingers crossed for a Bangle 3 someday--many thanks to Gordon for making Bangle 1 and Bangle 2 such amazingly useful and capable devices!

  • Thanks! I may not reply to every post here but I am reading them and making a wishlist!

    The vibration power is something I tried to get improved in the most recent batch of Bangle.js 2, but the manufacturer just won't put a more powerful motor on there. They say the problem is the motor is attached to the battery in the middle of the watch and they're worried about anything more powerful causing damage - really it needs to be placed so it'd physically attached to the rear of the watch.

    In terms of Graphics draw speed, hopefully I'll be able to make some firmware optimisations there at some point. I believe there are still a few opportunities for big improvements.

  • If the plan is to use an existing watch for a base, I'll just toss in the TK78G: https://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?fsb­=y&IndexArea=product_en&CatId=&tab=all&S­earchText=tk78g It may be on the way out (it's mostly disappeared from AliExpress) but it has some features that make it an interesting blend of B1 and B2: NRF52840, two physical buttons, GPS, Thermometer (external), heart rate sensor, accelerometer, touch screen and a nice 1.6" screen. I have it running Espruino right now (in the process of RE the screen and sensors). It may not replace the B2's always-on display, but it may be a replacement for B1?

  • As for the TK78G it all depends whether custom firmware flashing is possible, this seller/manufacturer
    https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/T­K78G-Smart-Watch-with-GPS-Smartwatch_160­0344217582.html
    says:
    Customized logo(Min. order 1000 pieces)
    Customized packaging(Min. order 1000 pieces)
    Graphic customization(Min. order 1000 pieces)

    Not sure if "Graphic customization" means they can sign/flash custom firmware binary we would give them, if yes it could be an option.

    And BTW the HR sensor is VC32S - not sure if this is good or bad.

  • Thanks! TK78G does look very interesting! I love the idea of proper body temperature measurement, and it has a proper Ublox GPS too.

    If I was just on Bangle.js 1 right now I'd totally be behind moving to that, but I'm not sure it quite adds enough to Bangle.js 2 to warrant the time and expense of moving to a new watch. If anyone spots any new watches I'm always interested in hearing about them though!

    I have it running Espruino right now

    How did you get the firmware on yours? Did you have to crack it open?

    I know there's https://github.com/jeffmer/WatchApps but I am open to bringing support for more watches into the main Espruino project if it doesn't mess the code around too much. Ideally we should be able to build firmwares such that the Bangle.* APIs still work and you can still run apps from the main app store.

  • If I was just on Bangle.js 1 right now I'd totally be behind moving to that, but I'm not sure it quite adds enough to Bangle.js 2 to warrant the time and expense of moving to a new watch.

    I guess @yngv126399 's idea was to replace Bangle 1 with it and keep two watches - one smaller/lighter with less buttons/colors and one possibly larger with full color screen which is not always on like Bangle 1. However it probably doesn't really work that way for you since you need to support bangle 1 for existing customers anyway so that makes it 3 watches. I see it still being listed here https://shop.espruino.com/ble/banglejs so maybe after that one is gone completely? Well, unless two watches sold in parallel is simply too much to handle.

    EDIT: Oh, I see now the big bold sentence "Bangle.js 1 is now discontinued"

  • How did you get the firmware on yours? Did you have to crack it open?

    Yes. I've opened several watches now, and this one is not too bad. Hair dryer to heat the screen edges, then a plastic spudge to loosen the screen.

    I am open to bringing support for more watches into the main Espruino project if it doesn't mess the code around too much

    Some of jeffmer's solutions use a modified spi_lcd_unbuf to accommodate shared SPI between LCD and Flash chip, but that looks like it's only a few #ifdefs to make it happen. He also exposes a function that lets you send init commands to the LCD from Espurino, so custom init sequences don't require custom firmware.

    ...you can still run apps from the main app store

    Mostly you can, obviously with some exceptions for watches that don't have barometer, GPS, etc. but he has a "Bangle" object that honours many functions, and that can be embellished.

  • and yes, my thought was sunset Bangle 1, and use this as Bangle 3 (only supporting B2 and B3). It's darn impossible to find ONE watch to make everyone happy, with these two you cover a lot of ground.

    BTW: the TK78G has a 405mAh battery inside (likely to accommodate for all the sensors) and 64Mb (8MB) SPI flash. I've mapped quite a few pins so far, but I am not an electrical engineer so I am likely missing some step to get SPI Flash working (like setting, resetting or toggling some pin). I've found 10 pins on the LCD/touch panel connector and am running through those permutations when I can.

  • My B.js3 wishlist:

    • Leave the same screen technology as Bangle.js v2 have. It's great, height of perfection!
    • Light weight, not much larger than the second model.
    • A larger screen size, because in the second version some elements feel small. Resolution can be left at the same level.
    • Slightly improve the screen in terms of color.
    • Ability to disassemble case with simple methods, with the same IP level (or higher).
    • Lack of problems with contact corrosion (possibly by adding only one charging method - Qi wireless).
    • A simple speaker.
    • Saving all sensors from the second version.
    • Buttons. On the one hand, it's nice when there are several buttons and you can control it in winter with gloves, like in the first Bangle.js model. For example, the position of the buttons can be as in Pebble watch. But on the other hand, the buttons are unreliable, they can break, which we observe in the second version of BJS. Now I try not to use the button as much as possible, waking up my BJS2 screen by tapping on the case (top right corner) + adding software control buttons. Maybe, a good engineering solution might be to completely abandon the buttons. Is it possible? Let's say an ideal tapping mechanism on the case that imitates buttons (virtual buttons) + make one button recessed into the watch case for a hard reset and flashing, so that you can only press the button with a needle.
  • and yes, my thought was sunset Bangle 1, and use this as Bangle 3 (only supporting B2 and B3).

    Well, I don't sell Bangle.js 1 anyway - since I have to order in batches of 3000, if I bought another batch I'd never sell through them. I'm still supporting it with software updates though.

    And thanks @Serj - the disassembly is something I'd really like too - I was wondering whether it was possible to resurrect the SMA Q2's design (screwable case, more buttons) but with new innards and a 6 bit screen - but I think as you noted for any new watch we really need to get the screen further to the edges... Either with a bigger screen or smaller body

  • Hello, just wanted to throw in my 2 cents as a B1 and B2 owner:

    • As for the screen, I would love it to be bigger and/or have more colors, but retain the always-on aspect, since I think it's one of the biggest things the B2 improves on. I think the TK78G's screen is perfect, but I personally don't know how feasible would it be to have more colors, bigger screen and an always-on display.
    • I'd prefer if the watch would have multiple (at least two, again, like the TK78G) buttons, though I wouldn't be too upset if there was only like one button, but I think it's important to retain the touchscreen - menus are kinda painful with the B1.
    • I'm not much of a water guy, so the watch being waterproof is not really important to me, but I think a better IP level would be more beneficial than something like a barometer.
    • A better vibration motor or maybe even a speaker would be really cool, but it's not a necessity, in my opinion.
    • My B2's HRM was broken out of the box, but if the B1's is anything to go by, it's fine as is, and I think it should stay.
    • I don't know if it's a thing smartwatches are "allowed" to have, but having multiple Bluetooth connections would be really sweet, since Espruino is all about hacking, so having to disconnect from my smartphone to use the IDE is a bit annoying. (I assume this is a hardware thing)
    • Built-in Wi-Fi would be epic but mostly unnecessary.
  • Hey Gordan,
    If there is a Bangle3 in the works I would like to see more health sensors on board. Like the HR cum SpO2 sensor from Maxim + Body temperature sensor + any hydration solutions if possible.
    Spotify integration ??
    Any payments app??
    Messaging app integrations??
    Wireless charging??
    bigger screen smaller bezels,
    more smoother and nicer fonts,
    simpler way to place fonts on the screen and size them as per need,
    The Bangle2 is already a remarkable watch! Hats off. Anything more is definitely a bonus.
    Cheers!

  • Here's my go at a wish list :)

    Screen:

    • Reflective screen technology as in bangle2 is nearly a must for me both for visibility and battery consumption advantages.
    • All for larger screen and especially together with smaller bezels.
    • A little higher PPI screen and more colors would be nice but not essential for me.
    • I probably think square screens are a little smarter than round ones. I'd imagine square is a little cheaper and also easier to program and make UIs for, especially for novice programmers like me. Also for text square is good and the corners also provide some landmarks for using the device. However, I don't think it really matters too much either way.

    Sensors:

    • Gyroscope as complement to the accelerometer would be cool. Don't have a use in mind right now but being able to get more precise spatial measurements would surely improve/make some applications more viable.
    • Improved precision for GPS and body trackers over bangle2 would be nice, also additional sensors to allow more advanced applications. Again, I don't have any in mind myself right now though.
    • I'm torn on the microphone/speakers vs. high IP-ratings debate. I don't think I have a preference going either way.

    Miscellaneous:

    • I absolutely want to be able to use anything other than silicone straps, I use a nylon strap with the bangle2 that I am pleased with.
    • Higher specs for CPU/RAM/Flash/Storage/Battery is always nice but I'm also quite content with what bangle2 offers. However if more storage meant we could start having e.g. a music app independent of a phone with tracks on the bangle3 that would be a neat addition.
    • Choosing what device to connect to on the bangle was a neat idea I like. Switch between paired devices, connect to new ones etc. I suspect this can be accomplished already on the bangle2 with software though? So it would just be a matter of someone doing a PR.

    Thanks for considering! :)

  • having multiple Bluetooth connections would be really sweet, since Espruino is all about hacking, so having to disconnect from my smartphone to use the IDE is a bit annoying. (I assume this is a hardware thing)

    It is software thing and there are several reasons on different layers for this. On the uppermost layer the issue is that there is only one javascript console input/output and both the phone connection and the WebIDE uses same console input to run bits of javascript. Allowing two concurrent connections would randomly mix input and output so both could fail in unexpected way. It is of course solvable but for now simplicity wins.

  • having multiple Bluetooth connections would be really sweet

    Bangle.js does support multiple central connections now (eg for a bluetooth ECG and a bike speed sensor).

    The smartphone disconnection thing is a pain though - are you using Android? I'd been considering adding the ability to forward the bluetooth connection from the phone to a PC (like we do for https://www.espruino.com/ide/relay/), so that could solve that problem quite nicely

  • For the Bangle.js 3, I'd like to see stronger water resistance and higher build quality.

    I'm disappointed to see my Bangle.js 2 suffer water damage even though I have never immersed it in water. An occasional splash from using the sink faucet was enough to make the device unresponsive and cause it to constantly reboot. This is surprising to me because IP67 rated devices are supposed to be protected from not just occasional splashes, but also water immersion of up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. The Bangle.js 3 should ideally have a 5 atm water resistance rating or an IP68 rating like some of the higher-quality imported watch models, or at least meet the IP67 standard more consistently.

    The Bangle.js 2 has a body made of plastic, with sides that are easy to scuff and discolor. Some type of metal would be an improvement. The plastic button also feels mushy when pressed, and a more "clicky" button would be more pleasant to use. The electrical tape that covered the contacts at the bottom came off for me after wearing the watch for a month, and I'd like to see a more robust solution. I suppose the silicone protective cover would have made up for the plastic body and the electrical tape, but I didn't buy it at the time of my order since I've never purchased a case for a watch before and I didn't feel that one was necessary.

    On the other hand, I'm very impressed with the functionality and ease-of-use of the Espruino platform. If a future Bangle.js model addressed the water resistance and build quality issues, I would purchase or pre-order it immediately.

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I demand BangleJS3!

Posted by Avatar for Micha_home @Micha_home

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