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 on the UPS truck in the box 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? She works! We made OpenHAK because we want to share what we've got with you, Dear Reader, 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 CoastNBC News, Wired, The Baltimore Sun,  Today, Forbes, NBC News, Shape, Live Science (twice), even the FitBit Community are questioning the accuracy and availability of data for the multitude of devices on the market. 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.

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.

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Joel Murphy