We interviewed Omkar Govil-Nair, the 11-year-old CEO of O-Watch, who started the company three years ago and then both successfully funded his project on Kickstarter and shipped within a week of his original date! He continues to improve the software and make the sensors a smaller, more integral part of the board. Check out his site here - http://theowatch.com/.
Josh: Hey Omkar it's been about three years since I met you and you're still making a ton of progress. Do you want to talk to me a bit about the O-Watch?
Omkar: Yeah, sure. So it’s a programmable smartwatch kit to teach kids how to code. You can have games or whatnot on it. The basic idea is that you can get the kit and you can learn how to program using the watch and then you can wear it and show everybody.
Josh: And so again, it’s been a couple of years what initially made you decide, “hey, I want to make a watch?”
Omkar: Well I really wanted to teach others how to program their own stuff. But I think it was easy to make a wearable because you can take it around and show everybody and it's not too big, like Arduino boards are pretty, big but a wearable watch like this is not that big so it's more accessible.
Josh: Awesome. So when did you actually start programming and playing with Arduino?
Omkar: When I was six I started playing with Arduinos after seeing them at Maker Faire.
Josh: So the watch, it funded a couple years ago on Kickstarter, what have you done recently with it?
Omkar: So I've been looking into new possibilities, like right here, this has all the sensors as this thick one right here, it’s just thinner. So we're looking to make it more thin and more cheap, you know, make it easier. And we’ve also been working on making new programs and getting more people into the community and stuff like that.
Josh: Have you seen a lot of good response from other kids your age and their experimentation with a watch?
Omkar: I host workshops where we teach these. Yeah, the workshops. I've seen pretty good response.
Josh: Awesome. Are you printing another case right over there.
Omkar: So those are actually keychains that we're giving away, but the cases are still made by the 3D printer.
Josh: Do you have any other future projects that you're thinking about? Are you going to keep on working on the O-Watch?
Omkar: I think I'll stick with this for a few more years and I’m still thinking about what I want to do in the future.
Josh: Just to verify, what does the O-Watch stand for?
Omkar: It stands for the first initial of my name and "watch".
Josh: Awesome I like that naming convention.