A while ago I created a Quality of Life Meter, based on a running joke where I work. Essentially it was just a LED version of the whiteboard version we started with. When working on that first iteration I knew there were a lot of ways to improve and add to the functionality and now, thanks to Intel and Instructables, I present the QoL Meter Mk.2.

Using the new Intel Edison platform and a Seeed Studio Grove Internet of Things (IoT) Starter Kit the Mk.2 is designed as a jumping-off point for group based meters. The Mk.1 was controlled off of one input so to truly capture the status of a group there would have to be some sort of outside agreement or calculation. The Mk.2 by contrast allows for any number of individuals, or factors, to set their own value which in turn allows an accurate group average to be displayed.

The large LED thermometer was also a bit much for a shared work area, particularly one with dim lighting. While the Mk.2 can absolutely be wired to the display from the Mk.1 if that suits your needs, I instead have chosen to display the output using the backlight color on Grove RGB Backlight LCD and a simple numerical readout on said LCD.

The final major improvement is using the Edison's built in WiFi and Intel's free IoT Analytics Dashboard web tools to capture how the various inputs are changing. For our office, where this is all a bit of a joke, this functionality isn't of much real use to us but the ability to have it is cool and shows some of the benefits of Edison and potential of the meter as a platform for more practical applications.

Since this is my first Edison project this guide is really half Quality of Life Meter, half Edison setup and explanation and as such probably gets a bit verbose in places. I considered separate guides for each but I really feel that it's much easier to get everything involved with the Edison working when there's a clear purpose and reason, so break out the reading glasses and remember to blink, or, you know, just skip the extra details if they bore you.

As with Mk.1 there are a lot of different, actually useful, ways that this project could be implemented. Also as always, if you do come up with a clever use, or just recreate it step-by-step, I love seeing photos of your build in the comments. If you're a seasoned Edison vet the beginning few steps are all setup and you'd probably be safe skipping them.

Step 1: Materials & Tools


  • Intel Edison w/ Arduino Breakout Board ($100) - Conceivably you could just use a regular Arduino UNO but you would lose the WiFi and data tracking functionality.
  • Seeed Studio Grove Starter Kit Plus ($80)
    • If you want to source the parts separately you will need:
      • RGB Backlight 16x2 LCD
      • 2x Momentary Switches
      • 10k Rotary Potentiometer
  • USB Battery Pack ($10) - I just used one I had lying around, you could wire up traditional batteries, or use a wall plug through the barrel jack.
  • Enclosure - I designed and had a custom case printed through 3d Hubs but anything you can come up with to contain it will work. There are lots of other options, get creative!
    • 4x #10-24 Screws - Holds the lid on.
    • 10x #2 Screws - Used to hold the components in place.
    • Electrical Tape


  • 2x Micro USB Cables - These are the ones that charge your cell phone (non-Apple). One is included if you get the Grove kit. Not needed if you've already setup your Edison.
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill and Bits
  • Glue or Epoxy
<p>Could you also attach the Mk.1 screen so that depending on the person selected it would show the quality both on the Mk.2 screen as well and the Mk.1 thermometer display?</p>
Shouldn't be an issue because of the Arduino breakout on the Edison board. Just a matter of bringing the circuit over and cannibalizing the code from the original.<br>I think a slightly more useful variation of this would be to have the Mk.1 display always showing the live average and the Mk.2 showing the individuals. Of course that just depends on the exact usage.
what areas does your qol meter look at? eg exercise, income, drug dependencies (prescribed and illicit /social) this could be a really good tool for people suffering illnesses such as PTSD depression etc or people trying to break addictions. would love to know more about the types of data you've collected. can see some really good uses for this device ?
<p>In the example I've created its being used as a community meter. Each person in the group sets their own value and it averages the groups value.</p><p>This is all just software though so it absolutely could be used for an individual. The cool thing about the Edison is that if you had a group of people going through the same thing they could each have their own device and all the devices could be tied and tracked to the same analytics dashboard.</p><p>Basically replace the names with what you want to track individually and you're there. You can get even more advanced by giving each value it's own scale and weight in the average to get an even clearer picture.</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Why buy when you can DIY? Educated a Mechanical Engineer and trained as a classical cellist I consider myself a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, dabbling ... More »
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