Arduino
DIY Activity Tracker

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Activity trackers (e.g. the FitBit) are becoming more popular for tracking fitness goals. As fun as this is, you could always just build your own with, you guessed it, an Arduino! You’ll also need a battery, a Bluetooth module, an accelerometer, as well as some custom software on your smartphone or other device.

According to the author, “this shouldn’t be called a ‘smart band’ since it has only simple features.” That’s probably fair, but like nearly everything featured here, the implementation is ripe for modification. With an expansion of the software or hardware, something like this has all kinds of possibilities.

For a great place to start, you can find the source code for both the Android and Arduino side of things here. Alternatively, you can download the Android code on the Play Store. I didn’t see files listed for the 3D-printed case, but this shouldn’t be too difficult to design.

Although this is a clever hack, I’ve always wondered how effective devices like this really are. Sure, you might feel good that you’ve burned 200 calories doing what you normally do in a day, but that was the same level of activity that led you to become 50 pounds overweight. Maybe in addition to this, you’ll need to make your own DIY workout equipment!

0 thoughts on “DIY Activity Tracker

  1. I’ve found since I’ve started wearing my fitbit that I will DO extra walking if it is close to my goal. If I hit the end of the day and am 2000 or less steps to 10,000, I’ll get up off my…couch…and go get the extra steps. If it is more than 3000, I’ll usually just crash. So, yeah, it can make a difference. And how did you know I am 50 pounds overweight?

  2. One thing that was pointed out by the UP’s original advertising was “Knowledge of observance increases compliance”. (They actually had stats on that in the ad, but it’s the concept that counts here.) Essentially, if you know that you’re being watched (even if it’s by yourself through the tracker), you’re at least a little bit stricter with yourself.
    By and large, I’ve found that to be true in my case – now that I’m aware of how much I’ve moved or not over the course of the day, I take some modicum of care to improve certain aspects. (Not much, necessarily, but at least something.)

  3. Jeremy, love the project and documentation. I’ve been ripping apart wearable devices to decompose it to the base components. Did your project have any memory to store the data when away from the Bluetooth connection? How much more difficult to store the data on the chip and sync with a Bluetooth device? I’m not an electrical engineer, more of a business guy. Trying to understand all the components and component cost options. I want to make one for a specific activity tracking market. Thanks!

Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

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