Manufacturers always attempt to lower the BoM costs of their products to increase sales and boost profits. Most do it in an honest way, but some are either incompetent or deceptive as we’ve recently seen in an IR thermometer was the infrared unit was not connected to the mainboard.
I’ve just been informed about another trick that’s been going on for a while. Some ultra-cheap fitness trackers come with fake heart rate sensors that are simply replaced by two LED’s to simulate the real thing.
The trick was discovered last year by Aaron Christophel who purchased several fitness trackers believe to be based on Nordic Semi nRF52832 in order to as he wanted to use Arduino firmware with those. He managed to do so in several with IWOWNFIT I6HRC tracker being the best suited for the tasks.
I was told fitness trackers with fake heart rate monitors were still being sold on Aliexpress for about $5 despite being advertised with a photoelectric heart rate sensor. I suppose they use the accelerator to estimate the heart rate. Those trackers can still be useful to estimate the step count, but just don’t rely on the heart rate data.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.