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Omega2-based smart clock Bluetooth speaker has gesture controlled streaming

Nov 10, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 802 views
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Onion’s “Oboo Smart Clock” BT music streamer is built on its Linux-driven Omega2 COM, and offers 3W speakers, device charging, and WiFi-based info updates.

Onion used Kickstarter to launch its original, Linux-driven Omega and last year’s Omega2 computer-on-modules, and it has returned for a KS three-peat with its Omega2 based Oboo Clock. The bedside smart clock and Bluetooth music player has so far received $64,000 in funding, over twice the $25,000 goal. The campaign extends to Dec. 1, and shipments are due in June.



Oboo Smart Clock (left) and its two color choices
(click images to enlarge)

All four available models measure 152 x 62 x 30mm, and offer a customizable clock display. There’s also a small, color LCD display with smartwatch-like informational “cards” for WiFi-connected updates to weather, traffic, calendar, timer, and music controls. The display dims and brightens according to ambient light levels.

You can interact with these cards via gestures, such as flipping horizontally to switch to a new card, or up and down to drill down within a card or back out. There’s also a top-mounted touchpad that can be used for volume controls. When the context demands it, this converts to a colored LED display that acts as a night light and reveals four touch buttons.



Oboo Smart Clock UI cards
(click image to enlarge)

The Oboo Smart Clock also has a set of 3W HD stereo speakers with a back-facing sound chamber for an additional bass boost. The back of the device has dual USB ports for charging your phone or other devices, and there’s also a power button and jack. Most of the models also include a 4400mAh battery that supports 8 hours of music streaming and 20 hours of passive use, and one model has a Qi wireless charging pad.

All but one model offers Bluetooth 4.2 music streaming. However, if the campaign goes on to top its $100K stretch goal, all four models will get WiFi based Internet radio streaming.



Oboo Smart Clock detail view (left) and touchpad in button mode showing connections to icons on a UI card
(click images to enlarge)

Although there’s no mention of Linux on the main Kickstarter campaign page, Onion says in the comments area that the Oboo runs the same OS as the Omega2, which is Linux. The device includes Alexa support, but it’s not direct — for example, you can tell another voice-enabled Alexa device such as an Amazon Echo to program your alarm clock. The Oboo stack also includes IFTTT support, so your alarms can trigger devices on a home automation network or perform other IFTTT-enabled actions.

Some early bird packages have already come and gone, but there are still discount packages available:

  • Uboo Smart Clock — $69 — This basic model lacks the Bluetooth music support and battery of the other three models, but if the campaign hits 100K funding, it gets the same streaming Internet radio as the other packages.
  • Uboo Smart Clock Music — $79 — You get everything the basic model has plus Bluetooth and a battery.
  • Uboo Smart Clock+ — $97 — The Clock+ builds on the Music model’s features with the addition of a wireless charging pad.
  • Uboo Smart Clock Maker Edition — $255 — This model is like a Clock+, but with two power supplies instead of one, and a March 2018 ship date instead of June. The maker model also includes a “programming tool,” which apparently means an SDK. The Maker package gives you the ability to “tinker to your heart’s content” and “follow along with the development process and get beta software upgrades as they become available,” says Onion.

As one commenter suggested, the extra $158 for the Maker Edition seems like a bit much for SDK access even if you do get an extra power supply and early access. Why not raise all the prices a bit, if necessary, but make them all hackable? In any case, it seems like a nifty little gizmo, and assuming it works as promised, it’s an impressive showcase for the capabilities of the low-powered, MIPS-based Omega2 module.



Omega2 (left) compared to the original Omega

The Omega2 inside the Oboo Smart Clock runs Linux on the same 580MHz, MIPS-based Mediatek MT7688 system-on-chip found on the original Omega. The MT7688 is notable for offering a built in WiFi radio.

The 42.9 x 26.4 x 9.9mm COM is available at $5 with 16MB RAM and 64MB flash. A $9 Plus model doubles that to 32MB and 128MB, and adds a microSD slot. Other features are similar, including USB 2.0, 15x GPIO, 2x PWM, 2x UART, and single I2C, SPI, and I2S interfaces. The module ships with about a dozen different accessories, expansion boards, and docks, including an Arduino dock.


Omega2S

In July, Onion announced two surface-mount spin-offs of the Omega2. The smaller, 34 x 20 x 2.8mm Omega2S and Omega2S+ mimic the memory allotments of the standard and Plus models, respectively. Designed for high volume commercial and industrial OEMs, the surface-mount modules expose many more I/O pins and hardware interfaces, including up to 30x GPIOs and a 10/100 Ethernet controller.

 
Further information

Onion’s Oboo Smart Clock is available on Kickstarter through Dec. 1 starting at $69 for early bird pricing (see packages above). Most shipments are due in June 2018. More information may be found at the Oboo Smart Clock Kickstarter page.

 

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