World's first smartwatch, Steve Mann, 1998, ... cover of Linux Journal and IEEE ISSCC 2000.
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See Linux Journal Issue 75, July 1st, 2000, Pp. 86-91 + Cover:

A wristwatch videoconferencing computer running the videoconferencing application underneath a transparent oclock, running XF86 under the GNUX (GNU+Linux) operating system.

In this picture, Eric Moncrief is wearing the watch, and Stephen Ross is pictured on the XF86 screen as a 24 bit true colour visual. (WristWatchComputer designed and built by Steve Mann.)

A SECRET function, when selected, conceals the videoconferencing window by turning off the transparency of the oclock, so that the watch then looks like an ordinary watch (just showing the clock filling the entire 640x480 pixel screen). The OPEN function cancels the SECRET function and opens the videoconferencing session up again.

Bonus points for anyone who can guess where inside the watch the broadcast quality full colour video camera is concealed.

The current embodiment requires the support of a separate device that is ordinarily concealed underneath clothing (that device processes the images and transmits live video to the Internet at about 7 frames per second in full 24 bit colour). Presently we are working on building an embodiment of this invention in which all of the processing and the communications device fit inside the wristwatch so that a separate device doesn't need to be worn elsewhere on the body for the wristwatch videoconferencing system to work.

All programs for this invention are Free Software, licensed under GNU GPL. The hardware is covered by 3 patents (issued to S. Mann) and others pending; manufacturers interested in licensing the technology (hardware) of this invention should contact,, and

The computer programs, such as the VideoOrbits electronic newsgathering programs (not to aggrandize programs with words like ``software'') developed as part of this research are distributed freely under GNU GPL.

Greyscale gif file suitably sized for printing as a figure in a paper

Related research

additional pictures of wristwatch computer videophone taken in the "dusting" (multiple exposure lightspace) genre