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Please help me to connect a Heart Rate Monitor to a PC and get data from it which can be used as a game control device? Answered

Hello Instructibles,
Not a simple question I am aware - I have a notion that I will be able to connect an HRM to my PC and use the data as a control device for a simple relaxation game - higher or lower heartrate = action on screen.
Honestly though I am no engineer and have no idea what solutions are available, wondering if any of you fine folk have some experience with this.


Sensaris makes a Bluetooth interface that takes data from commercial Polar Wear Link chest strap ($50 in sports store) and sends the heart rate via a Bluetooth Class 2 radio. All you need on your PC is Bluetooth.I'd be happy to give you more information about it if you are still looking for a solution.

 I am involved in a project where the game will utilize a heart monitor. As the player becomes more scared and the heart rate increases gameplay will change causing the player to see and hear things that are not there. I would love to know how this system works and how i can obtain the necessary programs/hardware.

Hi I would like more information concerning this bluetooth interface and how it can transmit data from the Polar chest strap to a computer. Do you have any info concerning the program Max MSP and its ability to recieve this data from the bluetooth interface/HRM chest strap? Thanks so much :)

If you are in no hurry, that HRM will be released eventually for the Wii, which can be connected and used through the remote via BlueTooth that can be picked up by the Wii remote driver on a PC, if you write the program (I am assuming your programming this game) this system can be easily be recreated for the people who will use this game you have created on there own systems so they don't have to create/solder there own unit like you are attempting to do and you as a developer would have a easier time because most of the work would be done. Until then you can do something like mentioned above and make a unit that uses arduino or something similar, it would get you that unit faster but its more involved then just waiting and using the Wii remote method, they might make some with a usb interface but I don't know if it is active scanning and it will also be more expensive, you could also play with the circuit on the monitor and try and find a method but that sounds more trouble than its worth. You can also try and develop your own by using a sensitive pressure sensor taped to a vein or something along those lines

Yes the sensitive pressure sensor route was one suggested by a friend and I am considering it. Really I am building a tool to help me meditate, rather than a game for commerical release and as a learning experience I am quite attracted to the DIY route, though the wii sensor does represent a good option. I'm off to check on the release date I guess. Do you know of any place I could find some tutorial info reguarding building an HRM using a pressure switch? or even just info regarding working with pressure switches in a similar cpacity.

There was a game based on this concept - with hardware, but I forget it's name. I don't know of any heart monitoring circuits, but if you find one - you could easily interface with a microcontroller such as an Arduino over usb. Most monitors flash an led or lcd component with the pulse - and that could be read by the uC and transferred to the computer. www.arduino.cc

Thanks Frollard, I'm looking at ripping open a cheap HRM sports watch right now... worth a try but i'm a bit out of my depth, still looking if anyone finds a decent heart rate monitor circuit or easily hackable product...