Sony Open SmartWatch project

Sony’s SmartWatch is an Android compatible watch based on an ARM Cortex-M3 CPU, STM32F205RGY6, from STMicroelectronics and includes Bluetooth capability and a touchscreen. It retails for around $100.

Previously, developers could create apps for SmartWatch with the Sony Add-on SDK, but Sony is now opening up the project to allow hackers to create and flash alternative firmware, by sharing technical details and instructions. Sony calls it their Open SmartWatch Project and the webpage contains links to a wealth of documentation including instructions on how to flash firmware, a hacker guide with links to datasheets and peripheral information, and a backup download of the factory stock firmware just in case you need to restart from scratch.

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  1. Breaking news: Sony is opening their products!
    More in the news: New ice rinks open in frozen hell.

  2. Probably a last ditch effort for them to establish a fan-base before Apple crushes them with their “iWatch”. Could be a case of “doing the right thing for the wrong reason”.

  3. From looking around on the web, a number of retailers have these watches listed as “clearance” items… what does that imply? Secondly, even the Canadian Sony Store shows them out of stock and the following ominous statement “Reminder: All Sales of Sony Mobile Products are considered Final”…

    I wonder if this is a “Hail Mary” attempt?

  4. No open drivers, need to flash firmware and having to use dedicated development environment are all red flags that this is not open source.

    1. Of course it’s not “open source”, at least not yet. It is somewhat “open hardware”, in that the chips are identified and (mostly) documented (perhaps with the exception of the BT chip), and you don’t have to hack the hardware in order to flash a new (open source if you want) firmware to it.

      As far as the dev environment goes; you can use whatever the hell you want that can generate cortex-M3 code. I use eclipse and gcc-arm-embedded, targetting STM32 chips like the one in this device. It’s not that hard to set up, and you aren’t locked in to any particular toolchain.

  5. Yet another person who doesn’t understand conglomerates and how the big Japanese ones are structured. You’re shunning a huge corporation which makes many different things when you should actually be complaining about specific business units.

    The Sony business units are separate companies all under the main Sony name. This SmartWatch is made by Sony Mobile Communications who are pretty good about developer relations and actually have staff to write documentation and open source drivers to make third party firmware. They’re a hell of a lot more better at this than the other phone manufacturers who don’t give you any documentation, only have broken closed source drivers and rarely give you the ability to unlock the bootloader.

    You’re complaining about Sony Computer Entertainment who do the Playstation and that isn’t the same. There are plenty of complains about Sony Pictures and Sony Music with their extremely heavy handed approach to copyright.

    If you wish to boycott something then it is your own decision but at least give other people the full story and allow them to make their own mind up before tar & feathering a vast conglomerate of which, a significant portion is completely innocent.

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