Sep 5, 2014 | By Alec

Recently, the Instructables user GodsTale uploaded an interesting little fitness tracker to Instructables. It's called the 'RetroBand', and it's an Arduino-based tracker that is worn on your wrist and, interestingly, you can print yourself using a 3D printer.

While calling this watch-like construction a 'smart watch' might be a bit of an exaggeration this device nonetheless promises some interesting features. It is built with an Arduino Promo mini 3.3v microcontroller board, which is connected to an accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope module. This set-up will carefully track all your movement and the calories burned by those activities. Through a Bluetooth receiver, this data can subsequently be transferred to an Android smartphone. This, of course, means that the Retroband comes with an app which records that data and lets you track your activities.

While the guide posted on Instructables isn't the best translation ever made, it is nonetheless a simple enough project to do. Their steps include both the assembling and programming stages, so even readers with little experience in either field should be able to successfully make themselves a Retroband. You can find the tutorial here, which also includes links to all the electronic parts used to construct it.

All of the necessary hardware to collect this data is stored within a 3D printed wristband. While the original piece seen in the pictures isn't much to look at, the modules, battery and other accessories don't take up a lot of space, which leaves a lot of room for customization. This makes it a nice project for anyone wanting to experiment a bit with 3D design. Perhaps make a cool bracelet or a futuristic belt accessory?

The Retroband has been developed by the group of Korean developers behind the HardCopy World team. Their activity tracker is the second wearable project that is part of their Arduino series; it was preceded by the very basic DIY Retro smart smart watch. Unlike that project, the Retroband – which the team describes as a 'smart band' – can be easily customized to suit your own interests. Basic algorithm behind this Retroband tracks the calories you burn in a monthly/daily/hourly graph, but anyone with a bit of experience with algorythms can rewrite them to get more out of the data.

And these customizable options are what drew our attention to this project. While it might not be the flashiest or most complicated 3D printing project we've shared, constructing your own Retroband is above all an excellent opportunity to tinker, explore and deviate from original instructions. Want to try your hand at some 3D designing for yourself, rather than just printing fixed designs? Or do you want to gain some experience in bringing the hardware and software together? Then be sure to check out HardCopy World's Retroband.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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