Making my FitBit a little ‘Smarter’ with Samsung’s ARTIK Cloud
Sadly, this is my second (tech-related) post this year. If things had gone according to plan, it should have been my fourth. And while I can chuck it up to being busy (who isn’t?), I’ve read enough books this year to know that busy is not an acceptable excuse. Anyway, better late than never. So let’s get on with it.
A few days ago I came across Samsung’s IoT platform on Twitter, ARTIK Cloud — a cloud-based platform for connecting IoT devices. Naturally, I was intrigued and decided to try it out. I’m not particularly a fan of Samsung products, I haven’t personally owned one, but the breadth of devices and platforms I could connect with was impressive.
One common problem with IoT is the fact that individual devices communicate with the Internet, but not with each other. As Samsung rightly put it… ‘make connections, not silos’. Truly, the real potential of IoT will be only realised when devices connect with each other, and not only make individual systems smart, but the ultimate ‘system of systems’ smarter.
It isn’t the first cloud-based platform I’ve used. With Ubidots you could make API calls, and therefore have more control over the functionality of your app. Xively came highly recommended, but it appears better suited for enterprise projects as I needed to speak with a member of the business team before I could get started. It appears that has changed now, so I might give them another try.
With ARTIK Cloud, a major pro is the ease of getting started. It was easy to get a project up and running in no time.
I own a FitBit flex, which isn’t the ‘smartest’ of their range of devices. For someone who likes wrist-watches, the simple design made the trade-off worth it, as against some of their other models that offered more functionality.
Despite owning one and wearing it 6 days a week, I can go for weeks on end without checking the FitBit app. This means my step count goes un-monitored, and makes it less likely to hit targets. I decided to connect it to ARTIK Cloud to better track this.
The first step was to figure out the logic of what I was attempting to do.
The American Health Society recommends 10,000 steps a day.
My active hours = 9:00AM — 9:00PM
This means I need to take 10,000 steps in a space of 12 hours, or 834 steps an hour.
If my daily target = 10,000 steps
And I do a check every 3 hours, then my goal per time will be:
stepCount by 12:00PM >= 2,500 steps
stepCount by 3:00PM >= 5,000 steps
stepCount by 6:00PM >= 7,500 steps
stepCount by 9:00PM >= 10,000 steps
Here’s what that looks like on the platform.
I wrote the rules on Monday, and tested on Tuesday.
Check-in 1: By 12:00PM my first reminder came in. I was in a meeting, and didn’t check it till 12:33. By this time, I had done 2,314 steps — not bad, right?
After my meeting, I decided to take a ‘walking break’. This involved walking around for a bit on the rooftop, and then down and up 5 flight of stairs. Surprisingly, in 8minutes I had done about 500+ steps.
The next check-in was at 3:00PM. I hadn’t yet hit 5,000 steps, which was the ideal target.
The same happened at 5:00PM and 9:00PM, I got my notifications as scheduled.
Below is a history of my step activity. The blank spaces indicate when I was idle — most likely at my desk.
Here’s the final activity count at the end of the day. While I didn’t quite hit my target of 10,000 steps, I undoubtedly did better than my previous average of 4,000 steps.
It was a good and easy start; with the potential to do more. E.g reading the number of steps at any particular time and sending in a notification. I still had to open the app to view this manually.
There’s still quite a lot to explore with ARTIK Cloud, especially reading through the documentation and creating more integrated applications. Looks like I’ve figured out how to spend a good portion of the weekend.
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