Cheap & open source one-button tracker

The interest in the one-button (@jakobeglarsen & @tblomseth) at today’s QS virtual meetup reminded me to share this little project I’ve been working on, it turns the Puck.js into a one-button tracker that’s super easy to use: Puck.js One Button Tracker

Context: The Puck.js is a really cool open source hardware device that can be easily programmed in JavaScript from your webbrowser via Web-Bluetooth connection. The Puck.js is filled with sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope, thermometer, magnetometer) but most importantly: It also is one huge button! Plus it’s comparatively cheap, at around 30 GBP.

But back to the one-button tracker use case: If you have a Puck, the website I made is all you need to configure it into a one-button tracker as you can install the little bit of code right from that website and even download the data from it. And as it’s all done with an otherwise static website and a bit of javascript it means that your data fully remains yours, it comes from the Puck directly onto your computer, without ever going through the web. And the file storage is persistent, even if the (replaceable) battery dies.

When you press the button it records

  • the time when you pressed it,
  • for how long you pressed it,
  • the current temperature & light levels,
  • the accelerometer data.

The latter might be useful to figure out if you accidentally pressed it. And when you install the one-button on the Puck.js the internal clock of it will also automatically be set to your current browser time, which makes it easy to have the correct timestamps for your button presses.

As already mentioned, the website is open source (and I welcome more contributors!) and so all of the Puck is open source. They even have a wearable that comes with GPS & heart rate sensor – the Bangle.js. And with the wealth of sensors there’s a lot of other QS use cases that one could envision, and the documentation for the Puck is so good that even I as a javascript newcomer could set up the 1-button website in half a day!

I’d love to see some more people to give it a try and experiment with it, explore use cases and maybe see how the other sensors can be useful (I already started experimenting with having it regularly logging temperature/light etc).

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I’ve been waiting for mine, it is caught in customs in NYC. Gordon Williams from Pur3 who makes them is sending another, which means hopefully eventually I’ll have two, he said I could share the extra if it arrives with anybody interested in contributing, continuing development of the idea. So… I’ll post here when they’ve come.

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