October 11, 2001

Citizen Watch and IBM Research announce research collaboration on Linux Watch technology

Author: JT Smith

Citizen Watch and IBM Research today announced
that they have started the research collaboration on Linux Watch technology
and jointly developed their first prototype, called "WatchPad" to further
explore a new type of personal information access devices for the pervasive
computing era.

IBM Research first demonstrated the Linux Watch last year, illustrating the
viability of the operating system across all platforms, from large
enterprise servers, to medium-sized and small servers, workstations,
desktop systems, laptops and the smallest intelligent devices.

Citizen Watch is the first company that decided to work with IBM Research
to enhance current features and develop new application technologies for
the intelligent watch. Citizen Watch will explore the possibility of
commercializing next generation watches as communication devices in the
future. IBM Research will support Citizen Watch with its expertise in
hardware and software, including system design, low power architecture,
reliable and flexible IT infrastructure for future pervasive computing and
communication applications.

Among the technologies Citizen Watch has developed for the WatchPad are
packaging design and component design including display and input device.
IBM Research has provided technologies including hardware architecture,
system design, and software, including Linux.

Two companies plan to collaborate with key universities by sharing the
WatchPad technology for joint research. By working with universities,
Citizen and IBM Research hope to accelerate progress in developing next
generation intelligent devices.

The following are either trademarks or registered of International Business
Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both: IBM,
Linux is registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.
All others are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective

Citizen/IBM's Prototype -- WatchPad
Fact Sheet

The watch contains a high speed, low power 32 bit MPU, 16 megabytes of
flash memory, and QVGA liquid crystal display. The watch has both
voice-enabled Bluetooth and infrared red wireless connectivities. Users
interact with the WatchPad through a touch panel, button, and modified
winding crown. In addition, accelerometer is embedded to study if arm
movement to become a potential input method.

Key application features and future research technologies:

  • Wireless communications to be used as a pointing device to remotely
    operate presentation via a ThinkPad by using the winding crown switch,
    buttons, touch panel, and gesture using the accelerometer
  • Bluetooth short-range wireless connectivity, allowing users to control
    various devices, such as laptop computers.
  • Viewing email messages and calendar entries.
    - Bluetooth voice channel and the vibrator, allowing users to send voice
    commands to other computer and receive responses, paging, or alerts in
    voice or vibration. Text can be used as well.
  • Fingerprint sensor to identify the watch's owner, replacing password.

Key hardware feature:

  • QVGA (320 x 240 dots) reflective monochrome liquid crystal display
  • Modified winding crown switch and a button which can be operated by a
  • Bluetooth short range wireless connectivity (voice-enabled)
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Accelerometer sensor switch acts according to arm movement
  • Extended internal battery life
  • A cradle which can accommodate standard AA
  • Latest Linux kernel version 2.4 used as operating system,
    Microwindows for GUI. (Please reference the following URL for further information on
    Microwindows: http://embedded.contury.software.com/)

WatchPad specifications:
Size: 65mm#$B!_#(B46mm#$B!_#(B16mm
Weight: 43#$B#g#(B (without a wrist band)
CPU: High speed, low power 32 bit MPU (18-74 MHz)
Input devices: Touch panel, a winding crown switch, button
Display: 320 x 240 dots, monochrome liquid crystal display
Memory: Low power DRAM 8MB, flash memory 16MB
Interface: Bluetooth wireless technology (v1.1,
voice-enabled), IrDA (V1.2), RS232C (via a cradle)
Others: Speaker, microphone, vibrator, fingerprint
sensor, accelerator sensor
Power: Li-Ion battery
Cradle: RS232C, AC adapter, and AA batteries

Operating system: Linux kernel version 2.4
GUI: Microwindows
Bluetooth stack: IBM BlueDrekar (L2CAP, SDP, RFCOMM)

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