okinesio – Development of an Open Hardware Activity Tracker

re:publica 2016


The main concern about commercial activity trackers from companies like Fitbit, Sony, Polar, Garmin and others is that users don't own their data and they don't have control about how their data is used by the companies. That's why we started developing an open hardware and open source alternative: okinesio.


All activity trackers we have tested constantly record the users motions and store the resulting data directly to cloud servers in the USA. Basically the data consists of motion, steps and sleeping data. But this data also tells a lot about sensitive topics like daily routines and health issues. Therefore our goal was to develop an open hardware and open software activity tracker with focus on user experience and privacy. In our talk are presenting the results and lessons learned from our first year in the development of open hardware. We are talking about the methods and results of our evaluation of a range of top-selling activity trackers regarding accuracy, underlying hardware sensors, user experience and data accessibility. The second part of our talk discusses the evaluation's implications on the hardware design and describes the implementation of the hardware on the Arduino platform. The third part deals briefly with the lessons learned from prototyping and production of evaluation sensor boards and the final board design. We are describing the experience of non electric engineers (designers) with hardware design tools like Fritzing and Eagle and the following board production. In summary in our talk we are presenting an overview of the state of the art of activity trackers and the underlying inertial sensors regarding user experience, privacy, hardware and accuracy. Furthermore it's a blueprint for designers and open hardware developers in the human computer interaction field for developing and producing custom sensor boards.
Stage L
Mittwoch, 4. Mai 2016 - 13:00 bis 13:30



Professor Interaction Design