Many of todays fitness trackers are using a low power wireless protocol called ANT+. ANT+ was designed to allow open-access between heart rate monitors, displays, power sensors and much more. Here is a list of 661 fitness products that use ANT+. The trouble with ANT+ is that almost all smart phones, laptops and single-board computers do not have any ANT+ hardware in them. This means if we want to pull heart rate data from a Garmin watch that is broadcasting it we are left with four options:
Use an existing ANT+ compatible device (ANT+ watches, bike computers, heads-up displays)
USB ANT stick – This will allow single board computers and laptops access speak ANT+.
Roll your own embedded solution using an ANT+ chip and link it with a Bluetooth / BLE device.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.