Smart Watch Lobotomy

Taking a cheap smart watch and making it do what I want.

Talk given at BSides Cape Town - 3 December 2022 on hacking a cheap smart watch.

The YouTube Video of my talk. Unfortunately no video for the first few minutes but it does eventually appear. I suggest you use my slides linked below as the slides on the screen are cut off.


This talk ended up going a little off-the-rails and I didn’t completely achieve what I set out to in the original abstract (below).

That said, I learnt a lot and it’s a great foundation to continue building on. There is a lot of reverse engineering of the Android App and of the BLE protocol in this talk.

The very long blog post that covers everything I spoke about and more is available here

Update: You can go see the continuation of this talk, with a lot more features of the watch reverse engineered and working by checking out my DevConf 2023 Talk

Slides are available here

Original Abstract

Taking the cheapest smart watch on Takealot, completely reverse engineering it and building new software for it adding the features I want.

Find out how to dump firmware, identify components, decode buses and make things blink while destroying only a few watches.

This talk is filled with hardware hacking, reverse engineering, a little embedded software and a lot of googling and at the end of it all I might still have a watch that tells the time with working bluetooth.

See also

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