These itty-bitty scopes are simply fantastic. You just have to see them to understand.
I had spotted these guys at a previous Maker Faire and was hoping to see them again here. I'm not quite sure what is so appealing about them, but I suspect it is their little OLED screens.
Packed in that tiny little package is an oscilloscope, waveform generator, protocol sniffer, and more. The output is displayed on the absolutely beautiful-looking 128x64 resolution OLED screens. The refresh rate on these things is incredible and the contrast is perfect for viewing in any lighting situation. You can find details about different models Gabriel Anzziani has produced on his website.
This year Gabriel was happy to announce that he was going to be launching a Kickstarter soon to integrate all of this into the form of a watch. The Kickstarter is now live and you can see the details here.
He points out that after a while of wearing a basic watch, you start to take it for granted. There may be "smart watches" out there, but as Gabriel points out, they often don't do much that your phone couldn't do. His device, on the other hand, puts a portable measurement device on your wrist. I'm not really sure how often I would need any of the things here while I'm not in my workshop, but you never know! It sure would be handy when troubleshooting my antique vehicle wiring.
It is a cool design. I went through the webpage and it might appeal every EE. But does it make a business case?...I don't think so. Why would I need a scope/waveform generator in a watch? Again, talking about the power it takes, "When using the oscilloscope, the battery will last about 12 hours"...does it make sense for it to be in a form of an watch? Why not a pocket oscilloscope in the size of a phone or perhaps using the phone, with better specs & a bit bigger display, with more buttons/nobs? Would it be so difficult to carry if it comes in the size of a mobile phone?
Well, you would certainly get a longer battery life with the phone sized form factor. I would assume that you aren't going to have it in scope mode all the time though so the watch should last much longer. Then again, I don't want to have to charge my watch a couple times a week.
I can't see that many uses for a handheld CRO and signal generator, HOWEVER, there are many IT and installer folk who could use a TDR, which requires almost the same hardware. TDR's are used to send a tiny blip down a wire and look for reflections caused by breaks, joins, taps and ends of wires. It's quite easy to measure to within a few centimetres where a cable join is, for example. They can also be used for optical fibre.
This is probably a larger market for the designer than the plain old oscilloscope, as extreme portability is of concern for the installers/IT folks.
Gabriel's stuff is very cool. I have one of his older boards that I am going to build into a breadboard (when I get the time....)
As per the above posters, i wonder how useful a scope watch would really be - apart from anything else it would limit the use of the hand you were wearing it on. Maybe the strap could become a stand? The limited battery life will put a lot of people off. So maybe make a hinged cover with a solar cell on it to act as a dual-purpose charger and screen protector. or build solar cells into the strap, or sell it with a stand to sit it on overnight that acts as a charger...??
But I think Gabriel could make his money on this selling them to geeks like Max and me :-)