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Firefly Ice: An Open Source Wearable / Internet of Things Platform

Open Source Activity Monitor: Not Everything is Steps

Posted by denisbohm on March 15, 2013. 0 Comments

Adult oriented activity monitors have become quite popular.  Nike+ FuelBand, Jawbone Up, FitBit, and many more.  These are great devices and they do track more than just steps.  However, their primary focus is adult oriented exercise.

There are many more applications for activity monitors.

For example:

  • Am I in the right body posture while learning a new a yoga exercise?
  • How synchronized am I with my rowing team?
  • What inclines did I encounter on this new cycling route?
  • How many laps did I swim last week?
  • How smooth are my dancing moves?
  • How active are my tweens while in random play?

And of course activities that aren't about people:

  • How active are my pets when I'm home versus away?
  • Have my cats eaten and gone to the bathroom on their regular schedule?
  • How much wobble is there in my football throw?
  • Has the outside door been left open?  Is it flapping in the wind?
  • Did I leave the garage door open for an extended length of time?
  • Is the laundry in my garage finished?
  • Is a product being used?  What position is it in?  How is it being moved?

Can you use the Nike+ FuelBand, Jawbone Up, FitBit, etc, for all of these applications?  The answer is a clear no.  Those devices record very specific information that won't work for these other applications.  None of those devices allow their firmware to be changed for other purposes.  All of those eco-systems have their own methods for transferring data to their cloud, storing the data in their system, and accessing it via their APIs.

The Firefly Activity Monitor project is developing an open source activity monitor. The electronics, mechanicals, firmware, uploading, and cloud storage are all open source.  Nothing is locked behind any vendor's proprietary eco-system.  Pre-built Firefly hardware will be available.  You can change the firmware for your application.  The hardware can be modified to suit your needs.  Add new sensors, change the power system, use a different radio.  Create new form factors: wrist band, band-aid, or a pebble for your pocket.

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