All of the Bangle.js excitement including new community OSS apps already


Chief Product Officer
Open Source, Node.js, NodeConfEU | 20th November 2019

As we hoped, the attendees were blown away when they got their Bangle.js at NodeConf EU registration last Sunday. It’s always very satisfying when a project delivers for both your users and for yourselves. There were an huge number of tweets about the watch, some of which you can read below. Following the announcement,  Bangle.js also got lots of coverage from the tech press.  But the best reaction to it has been the creation of new apps for the device, giving tangible evidence that an Open Source watch built on JavaScript is something people really want!

One week since its unveiling, let’s take a look at all of the activity so far…

Bangle.js is the first hackable open source JS and TensorFlow-driven smartwatch. NodeConf EU 2019. Kilkenny, Ireland. November 2019.

User Contributed Apps

One really refreshing aspect of Bangle.js is seeing attendees and others continuing to create and submit apps to the App Loader/Store after the event. The published total stands at 44 apps after just one week.

We think there are three main reasons for this engagement:

1. A watch is fundamentally more approachable than an IOT badge to a much wider audience
2. Web developers can see just how easy it is to create apps for it using JavaScript
3. The App Loader/Store showcases their contributions in a way that code in a repo can never deliver

Your Apps and App Ideas?

Whether you were at NodeConf EU or not, we’re sure you are just as excited as us by Bangle.js. If you have ideas for a watch app or suggestions for areas where Bangle.js might be useful outside of traditional wearables, please let us know via this feedback form. And of course the best way to support the Espruino project and Bangle.js itself is to back Gordon’s KickStarter and get involved.

Work for a charity?

As Emma says, we’d love to see more apps that help people.  If you have suggestions for how Bangle.js might be used in a charitable context please let us know via the feedback form too. We’d love to discuss how we might be able to help. Ideas around IBM’s Call For Code for 2020 and similar initiatives are very welcome.

Some of our favourite apps

The Bluetooth App Loader is a really easy way to add more JavaScript applications to your Bangle.js. It uses Web Bluetooth to transfer the apps.

Here’s just a few of our favourite submissions which anyone with a Bangle.js can install:

A fantastic version of Tetris went live after just 24 hours:

Learn Morse Code:

Party Parrot is back:

The NCEU logo, animated:

Digital dice:

BLE Scanner:

Show Color:

Gordon has also made a short video showing some of the apps in action.

And if you really really wanted a badge this year, Adam Braimbridge has you sorted:

Watch Faces

We are already seeing some cool watch faces being created, in addition to the standard morphing clock. Here are some of them:

Word Clock:

Analog Clock:

Binary Clock:

Mixed Clock:

Simple Clock:

KickStarter

Gordon Williams’s KickStarter for Bangle.js has exceeded all expectations. It currently stands at more than 4x the original target after less than a week. I personally expect it to break €100k and that’s mostly via word-of-mouth. We have a fantastic working relationship with Gordon and we’re excited that every Bangle.js that ships will be running software that we helped to create.

Initial Response on Social Media

We were really chuffed to see such a positive response on the Pebble Sub-Reddit.

Press Coverage

And Finally

Don’t forget to keep submitting those apps and ideas. And keep an eye out for our post about Machine Learning and TensorFlow Lite for Microcontrollers on Bangle.js, which will land very soon.

As always at NodeConf EU, Nico Kaiser took lots of fantastic photos that you can browse on Flickr.  You can read about Sunday’s announcement here and I also have a detailed post about the gestation of it here.

 

Conor O’Neill is Chief Product Officer at NearForm Research, working closely with the Open Source and R&D team to evolve the web platform and with responsibility for all productization activities. Some of the projects he has responsibility for in NearForm Research are Clinic.js, the NodeConf EU Digital badge and Bangle.js.

Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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