Project image
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$4,386
pledged of $40,000pledged of $40,000 goal
46
backers
18days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, September 6 2019 2:45 PM UTC +00:00.

$4,386
pledged of $40,000pledged of $40,000 goal
46
backers
18days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, September 6 2019 2:45 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Follow us on Twitter @open_hak

Why Make An Open Source Fitness Tracker?

Why indeed...

The short answer, is Because We Can! That's right, the availability of open-source technology has exploded over the last decade with access to low-cost development boards and powerful code libraries to the point where you'd think simple things like fitness trackers would start to self-assemble in the box on the UPS truck from SparkFruit. Well, we couldn't wait for that, so we got the basic parts required, poked 'em into place with a soldering iron, stubbed out some codeware, and what do you know? It works! We made OpenHAK because we want to share what we've got with you, Dear Backer, and see what we can build together!

Now, there's other reasons of course. Primary being that the rest of the Fitness Tracking world is closed source, black boxed, unverifiable, and notoriously inconsistent and inaccurate. Case in point: The Verge, ABC News, Men's Health, First Coast, NBC News, Wired, The Baltimore Sun,  Today, Forbes, NBC News, Shape, Live Science (twice), even the FitBit Community question the accuracy of their data. The only way to know anything about how they determine your step count, heart rate, calorie burn, or sleep quality is to get a job working in the engineering department of one of these companies, sign their NDA, and then go to your grave keeping their secrets. 

And, pretty much all of the fitness tracker companies put restrictions, limits, or paywalls around YOUR data! This is patently ridiculous. You should have access to your data. Period. We designed OpenHAK to do just that. All the data collected from the hardware is stored on your phone/tablet in an easy to access format for you and only you to do whatever the heck you want to with it!

We have had enough of this nonsense. OpenHAK believes that you should have access and control of your data, and be able to know how the thing that is telling you your steps and heart rate does its thing. You should be able to verify it yourself, and compare your data with others in the community. Most importantly, we want you to hack it! OpenHAK is Open Source all the way. Hardware and Software. Our Apps are open, the firmware is open, and the hardware is accessorizable and modifiable for you to tweak and transform. 

There's also a super secret squirrel reason why we're making OpenHAK. I'm going to tell you right now, so beware that your computer | phone | tablet will self destruct in 60 seconds. The Open Source Hardware world needs to crack through the barricade of breakout boards, modules and dev-kits, and enter into the world of Things That Just Do Stuff. The OpenHAK hardware and app will work right out of the box as a fitness tracker that will keep record of your steps and heart rate with a simple intuitive interface. Sure, if you want to take a screwdriver to it, you're more than welcome, but it also Just Works. We are looking forward to a world which has more open-source products available that you can really own. Lift the lid up on 'er and poke around a bit. And, we want to show it's possible to create an open source hardware company that can do it sustainably. We hope you will support us as hackers and makers and folks who just want a Thing that does a Thing.

20... 19... 18... 17...

What Is It, Really?

The OpenHAK works as a fitness tracker by counting your steps and measuring your heart rate. Step counting is done by a Bosh BMI160, and the heart rate sensing is done with a Maxim MAX30101. The whole thing is driven and built around a Simblee BLE radio module. Yes, we know. Simblee has gone EOL. More on that in a bit, Let us get through the specs.

Out of the box, the OpenHAK works, and is advertising itself to connect to your phone/tablet. Once connected, the OpenHAK will go through a cycle of deep sleep for 10 minutes, then waking up for 30 seconds to take your pulse and send all of its new data to your phone/tablet. This includes a time stamp, steps, heart rate, and battery level. There's room for three more data points that we are not using that you could use for all kinds of stuff. Other sensor readings from something you've hacked into the OpenHAK, for example. Our current prototype send the temperature taken from the MAX sensor, which is right on your wrist, as an example of using the auxiliary data slots. 

In order for you to build and use your own add-ons, you have to have access to pins on the Simblee. We have broken out 10 pins! Exposed for user hacking are: 

  • GND
  • 3.0V
  • Simblee Reset
  • GPIO 3 / Analog 4
  • GPIO 1 / Serial TX / Analog 2
  • GPIO 2 / Analog 3
  • GPIO 0 / Serial RX / Analog Reference
  • GPIO 25
  • GPIO 24
  • GPIO 21

We are using this breakout header to attach an optional OLED screen (64x48 pixels, 0.66") or a vibration motor for haptic feedback. You can choose either of these options as a reward on the right! 

The Simblee platform is easily integrated into Arduino for hacking and adding your own features or turning the OpenHAK into a gesture controller or whatever. To make things super easy for you, we hacked the Simblee board files for Arduino so that with the touch of a button you can produce a special ZIP file that is necessary for Over The Air Device Firmware Update (OTA DFU). That's right, you can program the OpenHAK OTA! Check out our gihub documentation for more details and how-to.

We've been working on this project for sooo long, and from time to time, it felt like we were about ready to launch this campaign, but for one reason or another it fell through. Back in 2017, we had a contact on the inside at RFdigital and got a really good price on Simblees... So we bought 1000 of them. Sunk costs... So yes, we're sitting on a small pile of EOL parts that our entire project is built around, BUT we are supporting the board files for Arduino so anyone can still hack the OpenHAK! And, if you just happen to have some Simblees lying around, you can still use our files to hack away at your own projects. You're welcome!

How Far Along Is The Project?

We have been working on and off and on and on on OpenHAK since 2016. For one reason or another, paying work, life, etc., we haven't been able to bring the project to a space where we thought we could run a funding campaign until now. One of the more challenging aspects have been keeping everything except the MAX sensor on the bottom, and figuring out how to attach the wrist band. With our 2018 prototype, we  solved these problems. Moving all the parts to the top was kinda easy, but means super duper small parts! The watch band solutions is cooler! We're using a castellation and two zero ohm resistors to create a watch pin capture. That means that the OpenHAK will fit with ANY standard 18mm watch band! So you can accessorize your heart out!

Earlier this year, we were hanging out with friends from the DEF CON Biohacking Village, and they asked us what we were up to. We told them about OpenHAK and showed them our latest prototypes. They were psyched, and invited us to be their badge maker for this year's DEF CON 27! 

If you're in or around Las Vegas during DEF CON 27 you can pick up this special edition OpenHAK at the Biohacking Village while supplies last!

Risks And Rewards

We learned a lot from the small production run for Biohacking Village, and we feel so confident in our hardware and software that when we reach out funding goal we will immediately begin making OpenHAKs with our manufacturing partner in Massachusetts, Worthington Assembly Inc. We worked with them on the badge, and so we are ahead of the game with our DFM to make OpenHAK come out working great with the right look and feel.

The OLED display add on and reward tier is also a done deal. We have made good contacts with a supplier in China who is reliable, and we think we might be able to offer different color OLED displays when we reach our funding goal.

The kit will come with a silicone 18mm watch band that fits the OpenHAK perfectly. Again, we have already established a connection with the supplier in China and will definitely have the option to choose your own band from a myriad of colors after a successfully funded campaign.

The last major element in the mix is the battery. We found one that fits the OpenHAK perfectly! Since we have already ordered the batteries for the DEF CON Biohacking Village badge, our supplier knows exactly the right connector and polarity, so there will be no flub-ups there. 

We have all the suppliers and our manufacturing partner set up to green-light production, but we need your help to raise $40,000 to cover the costs of making 1000 OpenHAKs

Stretch Goal $60,000

Making our goal of $40,000 would be super awesome! But we also really want this project to have a life past Simblee. If we can raise $60,000 with your help we will revise the hardware and firmware using a radio module that won't go EOL any time soon, and publish in on the OpenHAK github repository! Do you have any ideas or opinions about which radio module we should use? Send us a message in the comments tab and let us know!

Stretch Goal $80,000

If are able to get to $80,000 with your help and support, we will have enough to do a production run of the new design revision AND we promise to offer a deep discount to all of our Kickstarter early adopters who support this campaign!

We can't wait to make this cool thing and share it with you!  

As we said above, we are ready to green light production of 1000 units the minute we have a successfully funded campaign. Our manufacturers and vendors have shown that they can turn around a small run in about 3 weeks. We're giving ourselves 10+ weeks to deliver buy December of 2019, which we think is super reasonable. 

Thank you Kickstarter!

Risks and challenges

There's always a risk with any project that involves multiple supply chains, delivery timing, and so on. We have these aspects of the project covered from our short run this summer. The only thing that we have not yet nailed down is the Vibration Motor accessory. We will be working on this during the campaign and posting updates about our progress. Both Leif and Joel have been involved in complex Kickstarter projects and delivered to our backers. We wouldn't want to ruin that track record, would we?

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