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
Dec 29, 2021
We Funded! And More News About Newt.
Thank you to everyone that pledged to purchase Newt, watched a stream, liked an update, or told a friend. We would not have reached our funding goal without your support. We’re excited about continuing our work on Newt and getting it into your hands as soon as possible.
To that end, let’s talk about the software that ships with Newt. We wanted to build software that was both functional and showcased the "art of the possible". Here’s what we’ve developed so far.
The Newt’s uses a RV-3028 as its real time clock (RTC). The RV-3028 was selected because of its ability to operate at low power and it’s timing functionality. It’s one of the few RTCs that support concurrent:
Periodic timers (alarm "fires" at "00" seconds)
Standard alarms (alarm "fires" at a specific time, day, and/or date)
Countdown timers (alarm counts down a set amount of hours, minutes, and/or seconds)
We use these timers to sound an alert (a repeating 5 second beep) when the alarm or countdown timer "fires".
The habit calendar was built to help users track progress of a daily goal or habit. This functionality relies heavily on the flash memory that comes with the ESP32-S2 (the microcontroller that powers the Newt). We use the flash memory to save the users’ daily "checks". The calendar is reset on Jan 1 of every year.
Location Relevant Information
The ESP32-S2 is a Wi-Fi enabled device; we’re able to use the external IP address of an internet-connected Newt in order to determine general (postal-code) location. This is then used to query and display the followng information:
Current Air Quality
Air Quality Forecast
Our thoughts on security
We take security very seriously, so here’s our stance on the software that ships with Newt:
We don't ask for any personal idetifiable information to use your Newt. We don't need it for any of the functions that we've built so far.
Newt users do not need to pay any additional fees, sign-up, register, or write code to use these functions. Most of the functionality is home-grow or leverages open source libraries. Many of the internet APIs (application programatic interfaces) are free to use as well. A few APIs require fees if we exceed a monthly quote or use them for commercial use. The usage fees are low and are part of our estimated operating costs.
In the futrue, we might extend Newt software to include features that require more information (calendar, fitness, traffic, etc.). We first need to ensure that we have a easy-to-use and secure way of adding these features. We think this will mean writing a companion app and leveraging OAuth2 APIs. This is an idea that we've been thinking about for a while, and will continue to investigate over the upcoming year.
What else are we missing?
The Newt has been, and will continue to be, shaped by its community of users - so please let us know what we should include. You can use the "Ask a technical question" form to ask about a feature or provide a suggestion. We look forward to hearing from you!