I need to build a device, which measures several parameters (body temperature, conductivity and pulse) and transmits them to an Android mobile device.

The system has following parts:

  1. The sensors
  2. Sensors -> logic unit connection
  3. Main logic unit
  4. Main logic unit -> Android device connection

I intend to use IOIO Mint as the main logic unit and Bluetooth as "Main logic unit -> Android device connection".

Now comes the problem - I need to place the sensors close to the human body such that they are easy to wear. Probably, the sensors will be located at a different part than the main logic unit (the former - attached to the skin, the latter in a pocket).

Ideally, the sensors would have a wireless connection to the main logic unit or to the Android device.

My first idea was to connect the sensors to FLORA, add a BlueTooth module to FLORA such that FLORA communicates with the Android device directly. But AFAIR there is no good-enough support for BlueTooth on FLORA.

Are there any other ways to transfer data from sensors to main logic unit or to an Android device (except BlueTooth, wires and conductive textiles) ?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You can get small serial Bluetooth modules, which look to me that they could be added easily to Flora. The component I'd worry about is batteries, which always end up being large and heavy. Radio modules tend not to run properly from coin cells. \$\endgroup\$
    – pjc50
    May 17, 2013 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


There's always another way.

Sensors -> logic unit connection ... Ideally ... wireless

Have you considered using XBee for your sensors to logic unit connection?

  • I see lots of people connect the Lilypad to an Xbee (a), rather than connect a Flora to an XBee (b).
  • A few people connect a "LilyPad XBee" ( a b c ) directly to a sensor, without any other local microprocessor. (Alas, this only works with a few kinds of sensors).

I'm pretty sure you can then connect another XBee module to your IOIO Mint, so it can collect the data from all the sensors connected to the other XBee modules.

From what I've heard, most people trying to get data through XBee and into an Android device use a USB cable for a direct wired connection between the Android and the Arduino. a b

But I've also heard of a XBee-to-Bluetooth bridge (a), and something called a "Bluetooth bee", either one of which could in theory allow your IOIO Mint to send the data to the Android device wirelessly.


Battery life reports:

Other wireless things that connect to Arduino, or "are" an Arduino (can be programmed with the Arduino IDE):

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I looked at Xbee. A typical usage scenario of the device is this: The user charges the device, then uses it for at least 2-3 hours. During these 2-3 hours, data from the sensors will be transferred to the mobile device. During the 2-3 hours of active operation, the device will be powered by a battery. It's intended to be wearable, hence the battery will be relatively small. If I use XBee, will the device work long enough (2-3 hours) ? \$\endgroup\$ May 20, 2013 at 8:25

You could use the rfduino, a small module that is arduino compatible and has low energy bluetooth support, and directly connect to the phone.

It's based on a chip that's targeted for similar kinds of applications(healthcare/fitness).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. Is rfduino compatible with Android devices? \$\endgroup\$ May 18, 2013 at 12:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ No! It uses bluetooth low energy, a newer protocol which as of the moment very very few Android devices support. Actually many phones from the last year or so have capable hardware but there is no Android API to use it, and only a few have vendor-unique APIs. \$\endgroup\$ May 20, 2013 at 5:24

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