My name is LuisaI am an interaction design and artist and I am working on the
development of a quantified self instrument based on a raspberry pi. So
far I worked with loose sensors (pulse, temperature, galvanic), but now I am looking for a health
/fitness tracker I could connect to the raspberry pi. This is being a
difficult research and so far I didn’t find anything like that. Here
comes the question:
Do you know of any tracking device that can exchange data with a raspberry pi, either through WiFi or Bluetooth?
Thank you for any answer or comment.
Hopefully someone knows more than me. But I’ve looked into this a little myself, so can probably put down what I know.
The reselling data business model
The business models for a number of companies seems to be explicitly not providing you with useful data. Perhaps so they can resell data for you, perhaps for a consistency experience, perhaps to maintain brands.
Bluetooth wrist bands
tl;dr Some work has been done on reverse engineering the xioma band, it’s plausible that you could finish this off.
My current understanding is that the fitbit has not been reversed engineered effectively and using encryption (https://pewpewthespells.com/blog/fitbit_re.html).
There are a couple of low cost ble wrist bands. THE ID107 and xiomi mi come to mind. I did not have success pairing to the ID107 band.
I could however pair with the xiomi mi band, but kind of stopped there and didn’t get any further. Looking now it seems like there’s some open source code to reverse engineer it: https://bitbucket.org/OscarAcena/mibanda, but no one seems to have actually been able to read the heart rate data. There’s a fun comment here that says, “it’s easy just google it”: (http://allmydroids.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/xiaomi-mi-band-ble-protocol-reverse.html), but googling the terms doesn’t really say anything useful.
See this point for a jumping off point for reverse engineering heart rate information: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/37779288/heart-rate-measuring-using-xiaomi-miband-1s-and-ble. I imagine the world would be grateful if you finished off this reverse engineering as it would open the door for lots of apps for a fairly cheap heart rate monitor.
Angel sensor was a kickstarter (I believe) to provide a properly open API, it has produced two versions of a band. However, you don’t actually seem to be able to buy them from anywhere, no one is even selling them on amazon for 7 times their original prices. I imagine if you know there right people you might be able to get hold of one though.
Bluetooth chest bands
There are a number of BLE chestbands. I get the impression that they might be easier to interface with, because I found generic android apps for communicating
with ble heartrate monitors that listed some of these bands. Polar are one of the companies that provide these.
Ant+ is a protocol similar to bluetooth that seems to be related to the garmin company. I think that it’s slightly more open that other standards, as I get the impression is garmin was attempting to create a hardware ecosystem around its other products. I think it gets used a lot for cycle computers. I get the impression “dumb” devices often talk ant
You can buy inexpensive ant+ dongles that work with linux.
Check out this post: https://johannesbader.ch/2014/06/track-your-heartrate-on-raspberry-pi-with-ant/
Also there is a long standing open source program called “Golden Cheetah” that is used for real time monitoring cycling power monitors. It doesn’t seem to work with heart rates though.
There seem to be some ant heart rate monitors though: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2014/01/mio-link-first-look.html.
Tell me about your progress please
As you might get the impression, I’m quite interested in this topic. If you make any progress in your research reporting back here would be much appreciated!
I’ve dumped my post on the wiki for reference:
Hey, I’ve got 2 Angel Sensors (brand new, still in their boxes) that I’ll gladly sell for 7 times their original price!!
Well… as to whether anyone would be willing to pay that is a different question. But if you put them up on ebay for 7 times the price you would be the only seller.
Great question about Raspi and fitness trackers. I’m struggling with the exact same issues. It really does not need to be so difficult for fitness trackers to include a broadcast mode for sensor data. What specific sensors data are you interested in?
I’ve used Adafruits Polar Heart rate monitor and strap for heart rate. That is easy to interface with raspi or arduinos.
Probably the best option is to get used to the fitness trackers SDK and write your own basic app to broadcast the data over BLE.
quantifiedlex suggestion about ANT+ is a good one. I’ve seen quite a few raspi + ANT+ examples on-line. Modern Garmin’s do have a HR broadcast mode (ANT+ only) and their SDK might allow for other data to be broadcast in a custom app over BLE.
I have https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00R7EVJ2A/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and it works well via Bluetooth LE with my linux laptop.
I’ve not tried with a Pi because I don’t have a BLE adaptor, but there’s no reason for it to be any different there.
https://hackerdads.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/monitoring-stress-using-statsd/ has some more details on how I have it setup.