[ANSWERED] ​Step Counter (Pedometer) / Heart Rate Monitor / Link with FitBit-type Hardware?

  • Hi, Folks,

    Has anyone heard of or had experience with implementing some kind of pedometer or heart rate monitor into Isadora? Extra points for VO2 Max.

    I want to see if it's possible to trigger cues based on steps taken, heart-rate over time (RMS), and/or oxygen saturation.

    I've been wondering if there's a way to play with the accelerometer actor of an iPhone to DIY a pedometer in Isadora, where if various values change by x amount within a y interval of time, then that registers as a "step" - but I'm not sure how to go about that...

    The ideal would be an open source FitBit type thing that I can get the raw data from that just does it all!

    Any thoughts on how I might go about this?

    My Best,


  • Tech Staff


    First, I deleted your cross-post. It really isn't necessary in our forum to cross post since most users check the recent/or unread view.

    So, a few users have worked on wireless microController based feedback systems.
    The one that comes to mind right away was something @bonemap pointed me toward sometime back. Perhaps he can share a link/details again.

    One micro controller I know has been used (I have used as well) is the based on ESP8266
    This search brings up a few interesting forum posts. (I think I see Bonemaps in there as well)

  • @orozcom I did some work with a hart pulse monitor and arduino. I used this one: pulse sensor amped

    and there are other ones. And plenty of info on how to connect isadora and arduino here on the forum.

    In a nutshell I would say its realiable enough to monitor a pulse this way. there will be dropouts but if your average over time its fine.

  • @dusx Understood on the posting etiquette.

    Wow. Thanks for the suggestion of ESP8266.

    I'm very new to the world of microcontrollers. Would you suggest I dive in, and see if I can get controllers talking to Isadora over WiFi?

    @bonemap Those wearables are really something! Would your DanceDanceSense work as a pedometer, do you think?

  • @fubbi Mind blown. This is exactly what I've been looking for. Thanks for the tip on the dropouts. I will definitely have a look at some of the guides.

    I'm curious: what was your use-case for your heart monitor?

  • Tech Staff

    @orozcom said:

    Would you suggest I dive in

     Yes, you should be able to connect the device @fubbi linked, to a ESP8266 (I have been using the Huzzah), then communicate with Isadora using Art Net (this has been my approach).

    Sounds like a fun project :)

    NOTE: USB power-banks make for great power sources.

  • @orozcom it was a build for a visual artist. A small wearable that emitted pulsing light. This seems nifty: HeartRateOSC

  • @dusx What a hilarious name for a component. Cheers - it’s starting to look more and more like a possibility!

  • @fubbi Very nifty indeed. The Mobile Mood Lab is fantastic on George’s Vimeo is amazing!


  • Beta Platinum



    The underlying components would very easily be configured to transmit the heart rate data from a sensor like the ‘pulse sensor’ that @fubbi is referring to. I have used a bunch of the same sensors also. Transmitting to OSC is a good option for working with Isadora. It does require or at least it is a recommendation to use a dedicated wireless network device to keep the UDP OSC stream as reliable as possible in performance.

    Best Wishes


  • @bonemap That's really helpful - thanks. I've had some success with using touchOSC and an iPhone's accelerometer in the past, so I have a vague idea of setting up small, dedicated networks for Isadora. It's been a while, though, so it's good to be reminded!

    Would you have any thoughts about the pedometer portion of this?

    This person here has made an Arduino pedometer. Do you think it would be as simple as adding a wireless component to something like this?


  • @orozcom There are IOT style arduinos that have accelerometers built in or you can get them on a breakout board.

    The isadora part is the "easy" part, at least once you got the OSC sending. It sounds like you need to start playing with arduinos first. There are some resources here on the forum but a lot of your questions will probably warrant a visit to the arduino forum as well. 

    Try the teensy. It can be set to act as a HID or midi interface so that will be very isadora friendly in terms of communication (instead of OSC). The pulse sensor will work fine with the teensy.

    here is a guy setting up a accelerometer with the teensy. If you google 'arduino pedometer' there are plenty resources on how to detect steps.

  • @fubbi Thanks for this - I've got the Amped PulseSensor, and an Adafruit Huzzah with the accelerometer on the way. Thanks for the YouTube link!

  • @orozcom I strongly recommend the teensy (arduino clone). It shows up as a midi interface in isadora and saves you the grief of using serial communication.

    good luck!

  • Tech Staff


    The Adafruit Huzzah is also fine, it can send OSC over the Network to your Show PC. Much easier to setup then Serial communication. Please be aware that you should have a solid isolated network for this types of things. (That can do both 2.4 Ghz as 5Ghz, since micro controllers most speakly on 2.4Ghz)