Sunday, 12 June 2011

TI eZ430 Chronos - 'watch' this space!

For a long time, I had been waiting for the watch I now own - the eZ430 Chronos. As the TI wiki says,
The eZ430-Chronos is a highly integrated, wearable wireless development system that comes in a sports watch. It may be used as a reference platform for watch systems, a personal display for personal area networks, as a wireless sensor node for remote data collection, or simply as a watch.
I love interfacing things with my computer and wanted to experiment with accelerometers. When I first looked at this watch, I knew it was best suited for a person like me. Here's what they provide in the box...
  • Chronos wireless watch
  • CC1111 USB RF access point
  • USB Programming and debugging interface
  • 2 spare screws 
  • Mini Phillips screwdriver
  • CD containing documentation and development software

The watch itself contains sensors like
  • 3 Axis Accelerometer
  • Pressure sensor
  • Temperature sensor
  • Battery/Voltage sensor

So I figured, I could use the accelerometer and say "Look Ma, No Wires!" & have no hassles of a breakout board or anything for an Arduino(or any microcontroller for that matter). Being in a wearable form factor, I could also interpret gestures from hand movements, use the watch while trekking, be the one to answer correctly whenever someone would be estimating the temperature... and what not!? Oh did I state that you get all the stuff mentioned above for just $49. I finally ordered the 433MHz version and I have to say, this watch is pretty interesting!

It is based on the CC430 ultra-low-power microcontroller system-on-chip with integrated RF transceiver which can be programmed via the eZ430 USB programming and debugging interface. Sample codes and other stuff is available online. But what I first wanna try is getting the accelerometer values on to my laptop and make a wii-style controller for games like Need For Speed. Wouldn't that be cool? Just wear the watch and 'drive' the car using a vinyl record, just to get the feel of something like a steering.

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