SEIKO UC-2000 (1984) – the dawn of wearable computers #WearableWednesday

Seiko UC 2000 wristwatch computer 6

Via Inexhibit

If you deem your new smartwatch the most futuristic piece of technology around, better you have a look at this strange thing dating back to the good old Eighties.
It’s the UC-2000, a wristwatch wearable computer introduced in 1984 by well-known Japanese tech company and watchmaker Seiko.

The first Seiko wrist computer

The basic object (the watch) was actually more a programmable calculator that a true PC, but things changed when it was coupled with the UC-2200 dock station. This was a quite unconventional device – provided with a small thermal printer, a keyboard, 4 KB of RAM, and a 26 KB ROM which included a Microsoft Basic programming software, a Japanese / English translator, and some games – through which the watch could be programmed and turned into a portable PC, albeit rather limited in its functions.
The docking station could also be connected to a desktop computer to exchange data to and fro the “watch”.

The Seiko UC-2000 was equipped with a 50×28 pixels monochrome LCD screen, admittedly not the best if you are passionate about high-res video games.
When not docked, the wrist computer was controlled through four large (well, reasonably large) buttons, two of which were used to play the basic video games which ran on the device.

During the ’80s, Seiko (and its subsidiary Epson) released improved versions of the watch, some of which could be directly connected to various PCs (including Apple II, Commodore 64, and IBM PC) through a RS232 interface cable, thus removing the need of a docking station; a 1985 model, the Epson RC-20, was even equipped with a touch-screen (does this remind you something?) and, at least at a first sight, looks remarkably similar to a modern smartwatch.
Yet, none of them ever achieved the success the company expected, and the glorious era of the Japanese wrist computers came to a premature end in the second half of the ’80s (at least for the time being).

See more!

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.