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Raleigh boy simplifies smartwatch navigation

Posted September 30, 2014

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— Raleigh's Davis Barrow thinks his smartwatch design will improve upon the interfaces available from Apple and Android.

"Smartwatches today have sliding, swiping, touch and long-holding. And they're very complicated," Davis said.

So this 12-year-old studied the problem and hired help.

"I hired my brother to code this," Davis said. That would be his 14-year-old brother, Buzzy, who put in 100 billable hours on the project.

The design was inspired by Davis's other hobby – cultivating honey bees. The watch face looks a lot like a honeycomb, and he named the product Comb720.

"With Comb720, by using a tessellation of seven hexagons, there's only seven buttons," Davis explained.

The technology was a bit over the head of his mom, Alice Stubbs.

"Tessellation. I had to look that one up," she admitted. (It means an arrangement of blocks.)

Davis said his design allows users to memorize the location of buttons on the watch so they can more quickly and easily get to what they want.

"I hope that he learns a lot, and the good thing is that he's having fun," Stubbs said.

Davis has turned to the crowd to fund production of his venture. On fundraising website Indiegogo, he's looking to raise $50,000 to take his idea from a demonstration to a functioning smartwatch.

"Whether or not this takes off, I've learned a lot," Davis said. "I've learned a lot I never knew existed about circuit boards, printed technology."

Barrow and his family wouldn't mind finding honey in this comb.

"I think this can revolutionize the lives of many consumers," Stubbs said.

She's got a plan for that success, too.

"I'd like to retire and sail around the world with him marketing his smartwatches," she said.


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  • proudgrandmomma Oct 1, 2014

    Whatever happen to putting children to work doing useful tasks around the home place? Instead we have become a nation of children fiddling with there electronics and looking down at there phones a viddeo games. It's just not respectful. Chidlren these days cannot even carry on a conversation. But I guess this computer watch will solve are problems in America (that was SARCASM!!)!

  • Kenny Dunn Sep 30, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    While I mostly agree with you these are in the very early days. Give this genre a few years and you (& me) might be surprised.

  • Todd Singleton Sep 30, 2014
    user avatar

    I took my watch off when I got a smart phone. Now I'm going to put back on a watch to perform limited functions on my smart phone? Nope. I'm not.

  • Mannin Black Sep 30, 2014
    user avatar

    12 and 14 years old up no good again! They need to get their heads out of the "cloud".

    But seriously, it is amazing at how much knowledge on a specified subject kids can fit inside their tiny heads. Could this be a different approach on childhood education? If a child demonstrates a specified educational talent and interest such as technology, sciences or whatnot, that child should be able to bypass the redundant classes that have no correlation to the subject.

  • busyb97 Sep 30, 2014

    patent it quick! Before the other companies take the idea....