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E-Ink
Home Automation

Newt

A low-power, open source, 2.7-inch IoT display powered by an ESP32-S2 module and featuring SHARP's Memory-in-Pixel (MiP) screen technology

$20,565 raised

of $5,000 goal

411% Funded! Order Below

Funding ended on Jan 27, 2022 at 03:59 PM PST.

Recent Updates

You'll be notified about news and stock updates for this project.

Newt is a battery-powered, always-on, wall-mountable display that can go online to retrieve weather, calendars, sports scores, to-do lists, quotes…really anything on the Internet! It is powered by an ESP32-S2 microcontroller that you can program with Arduino, CircuitPython, MicroPython, or ESP-IDF.

We consider Newt to be the next step in the evolution of low-power display boards. Perfect for makers, Sharp’s Memory-in-Pixel (MiP) technology avoids the slow refresh times associated with E-Ink displays. To support timers and alarms, we’ve also added a real-time clock (RTC). And finally, we’ve designed Newt with battery operation in mind – every component on the board was chosen for it’s ability to operate at low power.

It’s Cordless!

Newt was designed to operate "untethered," which means you can mount it in places where a power cord would be inconvenient – like on a wall, refrigerator, mirror, or dry-erase board. With the optional stand, desks, shelves, and nightstands are also good options.

Works Right Out of the Box

Newt is open source, and all design files and libraries are available for review, use, and modification. That being said: sometimes you just want something that works, without having to upload or modify code. Each Newt is delivered with working code with the following features:

Users only need to follow the Wi-Fi provisioning instructions (no app downloads required) to get started.

Useful Anywhere

Newt was originally designed as a multi-function smart device meant to display weather reports, agendas, and shopping lists right there on your refrigerator. Since it’s creation, the maker community has weighed in with additional use cases…

Home Applications

Professional Applications

More Complex Applications

Some of which might require integration with third-party services…

Features & Specifications

Microcontroller

Display

Time Keeping, Timers, and Alarms

Buzzer

User Input

Power

Newt is designed to operate for one to two months between charges using a 500 mAH LiPo battery. The exact run time varies. (Heavy Wi-Fi use, in particular, will reduce battery charge more quickly.)

Dimensions

Software

Optional Hardware for Mounting & Desktop Use

Comparisons

NewtMagTagInkplate 6M5Paper
Manufacturer Phambili Adafruit e-radionica M5Stack
Display Sharp Memory LCD eInk eInk eInk
Screen Size 2.7 in 2.9 in 6 in 4.7 in
Resolution 240 x 400 296 x 128 800 x 600 960 x 540
Deep Sleep Current30 uA 250 uA 25 uA Not Published
Refresh Rate< 0.001 s ~1 s 1.26 s Not Published
Periodic Screen Refresh RequiredNo Yes Yes Yes
Input Buttons10 capacitive pads, 1 push button 5 push buttons 3 capacitive pads Touch Screen, 1 push button
RTC includedYes No No Yes
Speaker includedYes Yes No No
Power InputUSB Type-C USB Type-C USB Micro B USB Type-C
Battery includedNo No No Yes
Programming LanguagesArduino, CircuitPython, ESP IDF, MicroPython Arduino, CircuitPython, ESP IDF, MicroPython Arduino, MicroPython, ESP IDF Arduino, MicroPython, UIFlow
Price$79 $35 $99 $85

Support & Documentation

Links to software examples and firmware will be added soon.

Manufacturing Plan

We are working with a contract manufacturer to build, test, and package Newt. We believe outsourcing this to experts will minimize defects. We will create the accompanying desktop stand in house using a 40 W laser cutter. We are able to produce these components at scale, and we believe that creating them in-house will keep costs down while allowing us to maintain a high standard of quality.

Fulfillment & Logistics

After testing and packaging the production batch of Newt boards, we will send them on to Crowd Supply’s fulfillment partner, Mouser Electronics, who will distribute them to backers worldwide. You can learn more about Crowd Supply’s fulfillment service under Ordering, Paying, and Shipping in their guide.

Risks & Challenges

The largest risk is availability of components due to the ongoing chip shortage. Fortunately, all parts currently show plenty of stock available, so we don’t foresee any problems in that area. We have also identified alternative parts that we can use if the originally specified components begin to run low. The only part that cannot be substituted is the Sharp Memory In Pixel display, and we have confirmed availability of that display with a number of overseas manufactures.

In the Press

Liliputing

"...the Newt features a 2.7 inch display with Sharp memory-in-pixel technology and an ESP32-S2 microcontroller that can be programmed with Arduino, CircuitPython, or ESP-IDF."

Geeky Gadgets

"Perfect for Internet of Things projects, [Newt] is powered by an ESP32-S2 module and features SHARP’s Memory-in-Pixel (MiP) screen technology."

Adafruit Industries

"Newt is a battery-powered, always-on, wall-mountable display that can go online to retrieve weather, calendars, sports scores, to-do lists, quotes…really anything on the Internet!"


Blitz City DIY logo

Produced by Phambili in Dallas, TX.

Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.

Newt

Fully assembled Newt with pre-loaded firmware

$79 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Desktop Stand & Magnetic Mounting Hardware

Laser-cut desktop stand, mini-magnet feet, and required screws

$10 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

About the Team

Phambili

Dallas, TX  ·  phambili.tech

Phambili (Forward in the Zulu language) is the brainchild of Darian Johnson, a full time technologist and part-time maker. Phambili is focused on making internet-connected open source devices for makers of all ages.

See Also

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