They all embed 9 DOF motion sensors, allow to connect additional sensors and actuators through the use of shields, offer wireless connectivity, and are able to run on small batteries, which makes them a perfect fit for a wide range of experimentations with connected objects. At the moment, there are esp8266 (WiFi), esp32 (WiFi/Bluetooth) and nRF52 (BLE) variants.
I had the opportunity to participate in the development of a pedagogical software ecosystem built around Movuino devices, in collaboration with the CRI's MotionLab team led by Pr Joël Chevrier. This ecosystem is mostly based on Adrien Husson's work, who had already developed a prototype of a desktop application that allowed to explore the possibilities offered by Movuino devices in an intuitive way, and designed a mockup of a mobile application that could be used as a drop-in replacement for Movuino devices into the same desktop application.
I developed a more robust version of the prototype desktop application together with dedicated firmwares for the esp8266 and esp32 variants of Movuino, as well as the first version of the mobile application for Android. We later named the desktop application Movuina and the mobile application Streamo. This ecosystem is all open source, hosted on the MotionLab team's github. A comprehensive presentation of the ecosystem, authored by Adrien Husson, can be found on movuino.com.
Movuina is a desktop application for Mac OSX and Windows based on the electron framework that aims at easing the discovery of the possibilities offered by Movuino devices. It allows to connect them via USB, configure their WiFi settings for a wireless use or use them directly as USB peripherals, process their data through a number of analysis modules, stream their raw data as well as the output of the analysis modules to the localhost via the OSC protocol, and record these data streams to csv or excel files for later offline data analysis. The OSC output streams can be used in a variety of prototyping environments such as Max/MSP, Pure Data, Processing or Python, eventually based on starter projects available on movuino.com.
Streamo is an Android application based on the cordova framework that can emulate a Movuino device using the embedded sensors of the smartphone, and also offers different real-time data visualizations of the accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer sensors for pedagogical purposes. It is available on Google's Play Store.
Aside from the MotionLab's pedagogical software ecosystem, Kevin Lhoste reached out to me to collaborate on another Movuino related project he had been working on, the Open Health Band. This little BLE device comes as a wrist band that embeds 9 DOF and PPG sensors, targeting health related research projects. He wanted to be able to compare the performances of the Open Health Band with Polar's state-of-the-art devices H10 and OH1, so I developed a mobile application based on React Native for this, as well as a React Native plugin for Polar's BLE SDK, which is actually used by the mobile application.