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Jun 9, 2016 10:49 EDT

Silky soft heart rate monitor – Couldn’t find this on Amazon, so I made this working prototype. I’ve ordered components to monitor ECG, snoring and temperature.

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 9, 2016

Silky soft heart rate monitor

by Fredda Weinberg

Couldn’t find this on Amazon, so I made this working prototype. I’ve ordered components to monitor ECG, snoring and temperature.


About this project

We, my husband and I, grew up with technology.  When the heart rate monitor I bought gave me a nasty blister, I took the guts out of a $20.00 monitor and gave myself the comfort my sensitive skin requires.  When the new sensors arrive, I have a box for an Arduino board, but production models will use a tiny processor and the size will be close to the photo model’s standard size, with leads for the ECG and Bluetooth LE (low energy); it will operate off a watch battery.

Guts of the heart rate monitor
Guts of the heart rate monitor


Electrical signal pick-up pad
Electrical signal pick-up pad

The above photos zoom in on an heart rate monitor, bought off Amazon for $20, so that becomes our price ceiling.  

The app I use at night
The app I use at night

In the video, you can see what this generic app does with the heart rate monitor sensor.  I’ve highlighted the output below . . .

My heart rate at the time.
My heart rate at the time.


Everything we do will have to conform to Bluetooth specifications and we must submit our production for approval as soon as the the parts arrive and I assemble them on breadboards. 

Behind all these sensors is a special minicomputer to control the devices and handles communication with the app I must code, but the open hardware concept means all these capabilities are already scripted, so the end result is a combination of compatible hardware and software.

Once the total electronic components are assembled, the black, plastic looking part in the photo will replaced by a box because I don’t intend to start soldering, that is, making permanent connections until the regular sized controller is replaced by a tiny version. 

Once we have Bluetooth approval for the system, then production begins.  I will find the softest silk and if anyone wants a specific color or size, we can accommodate those requests.

The code I’ll have written won’t change, but then I have to combine software: the heart sensor, temperature and sound devices all come with “sketches,” that is the controlling software and communication with the app.  All that code fits on the mini controller board and the app does the rest.

The new components arrive Monday, but the prototype heart rate monitor I use every night proves that a soft wrap works as well as their elastic band and with no metal fasteners, much improved.  But we want to offer you more than a neater version of the monitor, so rather than just replacing one sensor, we’re offering every thing you could want and special requirements can be accommodated.  If you need a motion sensor, we’ll have plenty of room, because the production version will have pockets for the battery, ECG leads and the Bluetooth.

The first platform will be an Android version, though iPhone and BlackBerry versions will immediately follow by the beginning of next year.  Again, open-source software is out there and keeping track or graphing the signals from the various sources is what the Internet of Things is all about.

So, so far I have my development system which does all the basic things: blinking lights and communicating between my tablet and microcontroller via Bluetooth.  The video will show you how the simple prototype works now.  And if all you want is a neater version of what I use, I can fabricate another in a couple of days.

Risks and challenges

Fulfilment requires locally available material, available at wholesale prices and components that are all available at Amazon, where I’ve opened a merchant account. I designed and sewed my wedding gown, so I’ll invest in a new sewing machine and integrate the package into a silky soft wearable. I’ll also have to code the product, but if you’re familiar with Arduino, open hardware, you know that someone who wrote programs for FDNY and NYC department of sanitation can control and display your sleep quality.


Contact Information:

Fredda Weinberg

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