Tracer: An ESP32-Powered Wearable for Things

Reporting from Shanghai, China
Apr 29, 2022

Tracer, created by elektroThing, is an open-source, ESP32-based, Inertial Measurement Unit tracker.

Have you ever wanted to stick an IMU on a thing to trace its pose and motion? Tracer provides reliable, high-performance, and cost-effective tracking of objects for various applications. Tracer can be easily mounted using a high-quality velcro strap, allowing it to be fastened on a bicycle’s frame for lean and cadence tracking, or even on the neck of a tennis racquet to count the number of strokes and potentially differentiate between topspin and slice. Let your imagination run wild!

Leveraging on existing open-source projects, the Tracer fully supports integration with Phyphox and can be programmed using Micropython and Arduino. Power users can also use the ESP-IDF tool for maximum customization.

Tracer is an open-source, ESP32-based, embedded project that leverages the wide variety of software libraries written for the ESP32 platform, thus allowing tinkerers to gain insight into the necessary processing and algorithms required to develop their very own fitness tracker. Tracer provides a trimmed platform with a powerful IMU and ToF that sense your environment, while also having Wi-Fi-and-Bluetooth LE connectivity.

Key Features

    • Leverage LSM6DSL to track your objects in real-time.
    • VL53L0X Time-of-Flight sensor for gesture control and ranging functions.
    • Easy mounting using high-quality velcro straps allows the unit to be mounted on various objects, e.g. your bicycle, in order to track lean angles, or on a tennis racquet for pose insights.
    • On-board Li-ion battery charging using TP4065.
    • Battery Life: three hours of continuous streaming over Bluetooth LE at 10Hz.
    • 15m of Bluetooth LE range (unobstructed) - tested on a tennis court

To get all the details about Tracer, along with example code for streaming data into the Phyphox data logging and graphing app, as well as schematics, visit the project’s webpage on Hackaday.

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