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MIPS-based Android Wear watch pulled from Indiegogo

Sep 30, 2014 — by Eric Brown 1,888 views

[Updated Sep 30] — A “Com 1” Indiegogo project is the first Android Wear smartwatch to use a Ingenics MIPS SoC. The watch offers IP67 waterproofing, WiFi, and a $125 price.


Update — Sept. 17, 2014

The Com 1 Android Wear watch Indiegogo campaign has been removed from Indiegogo due to a complaint filed by Google. Refer to the ComWatches Twitter feed for more details and current status. According to the Twitter feed, “everyone will get a refund, then notified for the watch, all backers will get it first” Additional background on the situation is provided in this AndroidHeadlines report.


The original article, published Sept. 17, 2014 follows below:


MIPS-based Android Wear watch starts at $125

Sep 17, 2014 | by Eric Brown

[Updated Sep 30] — A “Com 1” Indiegogo project is the first Android Wear smartwatch to use a Ingenics MIPS SoC. The watch offers IP67 waterproofing, WiFi, and a $125 price.

The Com 1 Android Wear watch, from Brooklyn-based startup “Com LLC,” aims to reach $75,000 in Indiegogo funding by Oct. 6. Considering that major vendors have jumped on the Android Wear platform recently with arguably more stylish round-faced (Moto 360, LG G Watch R) and curved screen (Asus ZenWatch) watches, as well as a quad-core processor (Sony Smartwatch 3), the Com 1’s most compelling feature is its low price. It’s also notable for being the first Android Wear smartwatch we’ve seen that offers a MIPS-based Ingenics XBurst processor rather than an ARM-based processor, which is typically a dual-core, 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400.

Com 1
(click image to enlarge)

Indiegogo backers who act quickly can get in for an early bird price of $125, soon to be raised to a still affordable $145. That’s as much as half the cost of some Android Wear watches, which range from $200 to $300, and less than half of the recently announced Apple Watch, which lacks the Com 1’s waterproofing. The watch will ship in December to funders, even if the goal is not attained. Commercial pricing for non-backers will be $195.

Com 1 in different strap styles
(click image to enlarge)

The Com 1, which has been under development for more than a year, with some help from SolidDesign Consulting, is not the first Ingenics XBurst-based Android watch. Other models include the Geak Watch, the YiFang DigitalNextOne, and the Tomoon T-Fire. The Com 1 is notable, however, for being the first MIPS-based watch to run Android Wear.

Inside the Com 1

The current Com 1 prototype appears to use the Ingenics Newton computer-on-module based wearables development platform. The specs are almost identical, the Newton module’s 39 x 22 x 3mm dimensions fit within the Com 1’s 40 x 37 x10mm size envelope, and the Com 1’s circuit board shape atop a manual for the Ingenic PD_JD4775 Development board (below, left) matches the reverse side of the Newton module (below, center).

Left to right: Com 1’s electronics; Ingenic’s Newton module; Com 1’s display
(click images to enlarge)

The Newton, which is sort of a MIPS-based alter-ego to Intel’s Atom-based Edison module for wearables, similarly runs Linux, but also runs Android. Like the Com 1, the Newton is built around an Ingenic JZ4775 system-on-chip, a stripped down version of the similarly 1GHz JZ4770. It replaces the Vivante GC860 graphics processing unit with a simpler, 2D-only GPU.

The 1GHz, single-core Ingenic processor would appear to be slower, but more power efficient than the 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400. The Newton COM boasts operating power consumption in the range of 80mW to 260mW, and standby at less than 4mW, according to Ingenic. Like several other Android Wear watches, the Com 1 is claimed to offer up to two days of battery life. Our guess is that the XBurst makes that easier to do, but we will await some independent benchmarks to verify our assumptions on both performance and power consumption.

The Com 1 follows the Android Wear reference design quite closely, featuring 4GB of flash and a 1.6-inch, 320 x 320-pixel touchscreen. In addition to the usual broad assortment of sensors found on Android Wear, including a heart-rate sensor, the device also includes two features that are not part of the standard Android Wear features set, and apparently missing from the Newton, as well: a pedometer and a GPS radio.

The Com 1 watch features Bluetooth, and unlike other Android Wear watches it also offers WiFi. This would appear to give it some autonomous features away from a smartphone, although the developers are unclear on that point, saying only that “it runs all of your Android apps, displaying any notifications that would have appeared on your phone.” The watch also offers NFC, a feature which appears on many, but not all, Android Wear models.

The device provides IP67 waterproofing in up to a meter of water. Other Android Wear watches offer anywhere from IP65 to IP68 waterproofing, and Apple mentioned only water resistance for its watch, with no claims for waterproofing.

The watch comes standard with an “aluminum 6061” frame, although stainless steel is available as an option. A black rubber strap is standard, while white rubber costs $5 extra, leather costs $10, and a stainless steel strap will set you back $20.

Further information

The Com 1 is available on Indiegogo for $125 (early bird), $145 (standard), on up to $170 (stainless steel), plus more for fancier straps, with products shipping in December. More information may be found at Com 1 Indiegogo page.

(Note: The Com 1 Indigogo campaign’s “flexible funding” status means the project “will receive all funds even if it does not reach its goal.” Although the project has promised to ship devices to backers whether or not the campaign achieves its $75,000 goal, we suggest that its flexible funding status, combined with the lack of detailed background information on Com LLC‘s key team members, be taken into consideration by prospective backers.)

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2 responses to “MIPS-based Android Wear watch pulled from Indiegogo”

  1. Jeff says:

    The indiegogo project page for this project has been pulled. I e-mailed indiegogo about this and got the following response:

    “Thank you for checking in about this campaign. The campaign “The Com 1 Android Wear Smart Watch” received a intellectual property infringement takedown request and is currently under review to ensure that it adheres to our Terms of Use (

    At Indiegogo we take trust and safety very seriously for our community, and we greatly appreciate your patience throughout this review process. To learn more about Indiegogo’s Trust & Safety effort, please visit:

    As I understood the project, they were using an re-design of an off the shelf wearable eval kit for MIPS and an open source OS (android wear). I’m a little surprised to hear there’s any intellectual property they could be violating. Generally eval kits are essentially example circuits that you’re allowed to modify and re-arrange to make end products

    • Jeff says:

      Come to think of it, I don’t think you can use the Android trademark unless you join the Open Handset Alliance or cut a specific deal with Google (very rare, but that’s one One Plus One did). This probably includes the “Android Wear” trademark.

      You’ll notice that Android Open Source projects either call themselves “Android Open Source” or ASOP. Anyone using the GPL codebase is free to use these labels, but you can’t say “Android” on its own. Many in the community have asked Google to simply rename the ASOP project to avoid confusion. An example of this is Mozilla calls the browser engine Gecko and the completed work Firefox; you can’t call it Firefox if you make your own fork, but you can say it uses Gecko. Or the ChromeOS/ChromiumOS and Chrome Browser/Chromium Browser projects. Maybe ASOP could be re-branded Androidly or Androidish or something?

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