Getting ADB working with the WiMM One

20:20 by akylas. Filed under: Hardware,Mobile

My first hurdle in starting development with the WiMM One was getting it recognized via adb. It took a while to find out the steps needed to get it working, but hopefully these will be helpful for someone:

  1. Ensure you have the latest driver package installed via the Android SDK.
  2. If you updated the driver package, and you’re running Windows, you may have to update the driver of the device in the device manager
  3. Next, if you’re on any platform, run the following commands in your terminal (if you’re on Mac or Linux, you may have to prefix some of these commands with ./ if you find they do not work):
    1. cd [ANDROID-SDK-PARENT-DIRECTORY]/android-sdk/tools
    2. android update adb
    3. cd ../platform-tools
    4. adb kill-server
    5. adb start-server (Note: If on Mac or Linux, use sudo adb start-server instead.)
    6. adb devices to ensure that your computer now recognizes the device

From there you can adb install packages, access the shell with adb shell, view the logs with adb logcat -v time, and many others. Hope your WiMM One is now functioning properly. Drop a comment if you continue to run into issues.



WiMM One Developer Kit Arrives

20:08 by akylas. Filed under: Hardware,Mobile

My WiMM One device (model 330) arrived this week while I was out in San Francisco. It had been dropped off on my doorstep the day after I flew over. I could have spent many flight hours further examining device! That’s what the weekend is for though.

Opening the box it arrived in yields the interestingly designed WiMM One box.

WiMM One Developer Kit

WiMM One Developer Kit

The outside of it is a strange plastic holder for the internal box inside. You have to use a plastic tie around the internal box to really get it out. What you’re left with is a two part box, the top containing the WiMM One device, while the bottom holds all other components, documentation, and the watch band. The documentation is left wanting, and can really simply be considered a “Quick start guide”. I wasn’t expecting much more though, since it’s a Developer Kit after all and not a consumer device. Given this, they did a great job with presentation.

WiMM One Device

WiMM One Device

The contents of the box warns you to ensure you charge the device for a couple hours before using it. Whether this kicks the battery into gear is uncertain, but I dutifully applied by hooking up its dock to the AC power adapter and heading to sleep. The next morning, I linked the WiMM One with the management web server, put it in the watch band, and headed out to work. It doesn’t take much to get it up and running. After you sync it to the management website, ensure you force a sync on the device to download all the changes you made to the configuration on the website. Besides that, there were two things that I found non-intuitive at first:

  • To change watch faces, press and hold down when on the watch face and it’ll bring up a slider allowing you to swap between the available ones.
  • One of the major features of the device is the ability to pair it with your phone and receive caller ID and SMS messages on the watch. It took me a while to find the application, and I could not seem to find it on the Market. On the phone, visit http://m.wimm.com/ and it’ll give you a link to download the application. From there it’s pretty trivial getting the watch sync’d to the phone, and it’s pretty awesome.

I find the SMS notifications to be one of the nicest features of the device. I often miss SMS messages arriving on my phone, and occasionally miss phone calls as well. The WiMM One will vibrate and ring when a new SMS comes in, and display the SMS on the watch face. It’s perfectly readable and I actually wish that the font size was smaller. The watch will vibrate and make noise despite what you have your phone currently set to, which is great in my opinion since I like to keep my device on muted all the time to suppress the typing and other ambient noises the phone produces.

The device comes with a number of (albeit simple) applications pre-installed:

  • Weather
  • Calendar
  • World Clock
  • Timer
  • Alarm
  • Stopwatch
  • Settings

The notable application of this list is probably the Calendar. The application can pull down calendar information from either your Google account, or a Microsoft Exchange account. Since the watch is running Android 2.1, I imagine many would find difficulty getting it up and running with Exchange mailboxes that have stringent ActiveSync requirements. I never bothered attempting to pair my account with the device for two reasons, 1) You have to provision the account through the management website. I wouldn’t want my calendar information being filtered through a third-party website. 2) Even if the website was not being filtered through the website, but the watch itself is responsible, it certainly would not be able to meet all the ActiveSync requirements and simply be rejected. I will have to learn to start using my Google Calendar a bit more to take advantage of the watch’s capabilities.

Even though the watch only comes with a handful of application, there are a number of “alpha” and “beta” applications available through the WiMM forums, ranging from games to the first re-implementations of popular Android applications in the Google Market. WiMM Labs is planning on launching a Micro App Store some time next year for easier management of applications. The only way to install apps at the moment is to hook the device up to a development machine and use adb install to install the APKs. The same is the case for uninstalling them. Once the store goes live, you’ll be able to simply install and uninstall apps from the web services portal.



Current Generation Smart Watches

23:08 by akylas. Filed under: Hardware,Mobile
Tags: ,

I did some brief research this afternoon about the current smart watch space. I was distracted many times by smart watches of years past, but was able to come up with a list of what appear to be the front-runners in the current generation of smart watches.

WIMM One and i’m Watch are both running Android underneath the hood, and both allow you to develop applications that run on the actual units. Metawatch allows you create applications for Android smartphones that use the Metawatch API to interface with their watch. It’s unclear what the case is with Sony’s watch or the inPulse watch.

Bluesky’s watch is the most elegant of the five, but the most expensive. They even have models that cost upwards of $2,000 whose sole purpose is simply fashion. WIMM is a bit bulky, and there is not any customization available yet, but the company has partnered with Foxconn and publishes a Hardware Development Kit that would allow third-parties to create compatible accessories. Also of note, the WIMM one is specifically tailored for Developers right now, not consumers–unlike the i’m watch.



WiMM One Developer Preview

14:10 by akylas. Filed under: Hardware,Mobile

I attended an Android Developer Conference, aptly named AnDevCon, in San Francisco earlier this week. The event had quite a few classes regarding specifics of developing mobile applications, not only on Android but many incorporated elements of developing for Apple iOS as well. Topics ranged from the advanced technical side (Deep Dive in Android Security, Tuning Android Applications) to beginner-level discussions. I have been testing Android applications for some time, but have not actually developed one. I thus had sporadic knowledge of the tools and best-practices and felt this conference was a good reminder of some of the core foundations for development. I think I will still have to pick up something more extensive as there are probably still gaps in my knowledge.

So what’s my motivating factor? It isn’t necessarily to develop an application that I’ll be able to sell on the market and make money from. That’s a nice thing that a lot of developers try to do. The conference was not only about classes on technical topics. Given the nature of the event, many vendors were present showing off their new static analysis solutions and services, or trying to promote their new ingenious ad framework that will shower you with money. Most of what the vendors were displaying was expected content, it was still fairly interesting. Many of the vendors were start-ups trying to get off the ground, intermixed with big names such as Qualcomm, Motorola, and Cisco. One particular company I took fondness of was WIMM Labs and their flagship Android platform.

The platform is a combination of hardware, micro-apps, and web services that tie it all together. As outlined on their website:

The WIMM Platform integrates hardware, app tools and web services into a highly scalable product development model. It can quickly take you from product incubation and testing to full-scale manufacturing and sales. And the product categories it’s perfect for are endless: health, fitness, mobile payments, fashion, enterprise, travel, entertainment, communications and others.

During the conference, they released their development preview device, the WIMM One, a smartwatch running Android 2.1. It boasts a 667MHz processor, 160 x 160 pixel screen that operates in two modes, 2GB of on-board storage, compass, accelerometer, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Not quite the amazing hardware, but it’s a watch. Not much you can ask for unless you want that watch battery to drain in a handful of hours.


WIMM One smartwatch. Picture courtesy of WIMM Labs.

I quickly picked one up, especially since they were offering a special launch promotion that reduced the price. The watch is expected to arrive some time next week. What makes WIMM One notable is that it’s really one of the first Android watches to make it out the door and into the hands of developers. There’s a few competitor products to the WIMM, which I hope to cover in a subsequent post shortly. I’ll do a review of the watch once it arrives, but there’s not much that can be focused on with much scrutiny–it’s a developer preview. The platform is new. I will have to base the analysis on its potential. From what I know now, it’s looking pretty good.



Garmin Forerunner 305

22:58 by akylas. Filed under: Hardware

I picked up a Garmin Forerunner 305 a few weeks ago after investigating watches again, and the fact that I recently started going on consistent runs again for the first time in about 10 years. This was due to a bet being lost with my sister, who I told her if she placed first in her age group in an Ironman competition, I would start running. I lost that bet.

Garmin Forerunner 305

The watch thus far has been treating me pretty well. My total workout spans for about 80 minutes including stretching, warm-up, and cool-down. The watch of course lasts the entire time so I don’t have much of an issue with battery life. Plus I always leave it in the dock after the run in order to download the data. I often forget to take it out after pulling the data down. Not really a downside since it’ll simply charge itself during that time. I can imagine it’ll be tricky for someone who is traveling.

The accuracy is fairly decent, although so far I’ve been sticking to a track so there is not a lot of cover blocking the watch from grabbing a GPS signal. I consistently get ~14 feet accuracy pretty much every day. The only other GPS device I had that I had been using to track my pace and distance was my iPhone. I used MapMyRun to get the statistics before I purchased the watch, and used both at the same to see how they’d compare. Oddly since I was on a track, I could’ve calculated the exact distance I actually ran, but I often lost track or never really cared that much to count the laps. The only conclusion I’ve been able to make between the two is that the GPS on the iPhone consistently has longer distances.

The heartbeat monitor, probably the most simplistic feature on the device is my favorite thus far. Granted, this is the first situation where I used a heartbeat monitor at any given time, so I probably simply enjoy having that data. It’s very nice to see my pace on a graph with my heart-rate displayed alongside it.

Forerunner 305 - Post-exercise Statistics

Post-exercise Statistics

The watch has many other features, including a very intricate workout planner (which is really the primary purpose of the device) although I haven’t used it yet. Once I complete my running program (in 9 more weeks!), that’s when I’ll be moving off the track and focusing on improving my running pace.

Suffice to say, the watch is an excellent product and I can’t wait to explore it further.