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.
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.
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.
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…
Some of which might require integration with third-party services…
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.)
|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 Current||30 uA||250 uA||25 uA||Not Published|
|Refresh Rate||< 0.001 s||~1 s||1.26 s||Not Published|
|Periodic Screen Refresh Required||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Input Buttons||10 capacitive pads, 1 push button||5 push buttons||3 capacitive pads||Touch Screen, 1 push button|
|Power Input||USB Type-C||USB Type-C||USB Micro B||USB Type-C|
|Programming Languages||Arduino, CircuitPython, ESP IDF, MicroPython||Arduino, CircuitPython, ESP IDF, MicroPython||Arduino, MicroPython, ESP IDF||Arduino, MicroPython, UIFlow|
Links to software examples and firmware will be added soon.
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.
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.
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.
"...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."
"Perfect for Internet of Things projects, [Newt] is powered by an ESP32-S2 module and features SHARP’s Memory-in-Pixel (MiP) screen technology."
"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!"
Produced by Phambili in Dallas, TX.
Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.
Fully assembled Newt with pre-loaded firmware
Laser-cut desktop stand, mini-magnet feet, and required screws