When struggling to loose weight, being able to be informed on how much energy you have spent, could be very helpful, but there are two aspects of the problem. A fitness tracker might tell you how many calories you have burnt during a 5 kilometres you have run in the morning, but it wouldn’t know about the high caloric breakfast you might have after. For those worrying about that now, there is a device that can tell you if you have eaten more calories than you have burnt.
There are gadgets that allow you to log your daily diet, but people might forget to log on their meals every time, including the goodies they cheated their diet with. So, the perfect fitness wearable gadget would be the one that tracks your physical activity, auto logs your sleep hours and is aware of everything you have eaten without you telling it. GoBe, by Healbe costs $300 and it promises to do all of those things
The marketing slogan of the products is “GoBe You” and the main idea of it is quite simple: a wearable gadget that can provide a complete overview of your every day fitness condition. The device can tell if you have eaten more calories than you have burned, or the other way around, can analyse the quality and duration of your sleep, can keep count of you daily water intake and can even measure the stress levels, among others. For those who are into fitness, diets and keeping their body healthy the device might be a dream come true.
After all these life changing claims, it was obvious there were going to be certain critics who were doubting its capacity, saying that they found it hard to believe the gadget can measure the caloric intake, the way it was presented by the company. The only way to prove them right or wrong was to test the device itself.
DOES IT REALLY WORK?
For a broad explanation, the system the gadget was created, is based on a impedance sensor that can detect fluid levels in our body tissue. Theoretically after we consume food, our system converts it to glucose and as body cells absorb it, they release water. GoBe calculates this moving of fluid and with the help of an algorithm it converts all that into a number of calories.
The device has risen a lot of medical controversies, as medical experts believe that the measuring of calories in this manner was impossible and also they are skeptics whether the device can measure glucose in the blood non invasively, as they haven’t yet found a way to do it otherwise.
So the only way to prove them wrong or right was to test the device itself.
The device is designed to be worn on the wrist. The aspect is not very discreet, compared to fitness trackers. GoBe is a large metallic piece fixed with a plastic strap. It has one button and a punctured top section serves to hide a simple LED display.
The bottom of the gadget has two plug-ins for charging and the metal sensor that is in contact with the skin. The aspect of it might remember you of a GPS tracking device similar to the ones that could be used to attach on criminals who were released out on bail. Most probably it is not one of the cutest devices but isn’t either all up in your face. The dark grey strap can be taken out and replaced with a purple one, which comes with the package.
GoBe has three sensors: the impedance sensor, a pressure sensor and an accelerometer. All three together, calculate calories, heart rate and activity. The last two sensors together are able to analyse your sleep. It can connect to the phone via Bluetooth and it is water proof up to three meters which means users can shower and swim at peace.
It is not uncomfortable to wear, even though the size of the main sensor part is bigger than the wrist with about 1 centimetre, almost 2 towards the ticker part. The tester admitted to feeling a small itch on the spot where the sensor makes contact with the skin.
Regarding the battery life, Healbe claims it will last for three whole days.
The gadget works on both Android and iOS, and the app created for it will show all your situation.
The pairing process is quite simple as the app asks you to switch on your GoBe and once it finds it you pair the two of them the same as any other Bluetooth device. After that you will need to fill in your vitals, for a more precise calorie calculation, like size, gender, age etc.).
Once that is completed, you will be forwarded to the main interface of the app, which has five sections: Energy, Water, Heart, Sleep and Stress. So it was designed for more actions than just calculate the food intake. If swiping every section’s icon to the left, you will read a short summary, total amount of burnt calories, sleep hours and so on.
The prime section is called “My Energy Balance”, portrayed as a circular icon that can be used as a visual shortcut. At the beginning the circle will be half filled and depending on the calories intake of that day, the volume inside will grow or decrease. Under this, written with the big font is the number that shows your up to date shortfall or excess in KCAL. If you scroll down, it shows you how many grams of protein, carbohydrates and fat you have eaten. It will also inform you on how many of those grams have transformed back into energy.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
When referring to GoBe, the message transmitted on Healbe’s site is “Tell it nothing. Knows everything.” Even though this is the goal of the invention apparently this might be true only in the minds of its marketing team. The device doesn’t ask you to log food manually, but you have to inform it on when you have eaten, if not you will get no tracking.
You are supposed to press for two seconds GoBe’s only button to let the device know that you are preparing to eat, and from that point on GoBe should receive the rest of the information from the impedance sensor for the next 15 to 30 minutes, while your body is absorbing what you ate. A procedure that seems legit, but parts away from the idea of the gadget being automatic. Sometimes one might forget to press the button, or remember about it during the meal.
But it comes with a back up plan. When you sink with the app, if the device logged any impedance information, it would ask you to confirm if you were eating or not at that time. So it wont skip the meals you forgot to fill in. What is a little bothering is that the at times there are several pop ups that keep asking if you ate at a certain time. Sometimes these periods are overlapping. For example it asks “Did you eat between 12:00 and 12:25?” and then ask you if you ate between 12:15 and 12:35, etc. If you fill in the data at the end of the day, you might not remember exactly at what time you had a biscuit, even if you try to remember.
Another problem might be the battery life. It can happen the battery to run out while you are sleeping or at the end of the day, even if you have charged it in the morning. The battery dying right before a meal, and having to constantly charge it, can be quite frustrating, if it affects the accuracy of calorie counting, showing a large difference of caloric intake between the manually calculated and the ones logged by GoBe.
When your comes to tracking your sleep, GoBe might turn out to be exceptional as unlike the counting of calories this is indeed automatic. It really manages to log sleep and naps very accurate. As the device is aware of your heart rate trough out the day, plus the movement information reported by the accelerometer, and the extra data the device would gather while you are sleeping.
Apart from this, the gadget offers information about the quality of your sleep, including the moments when your heart rate is below 60(bradychardia) and when you go trough irregular heart beating(arrhythmia) and also tells you, if your body goes trough heart blocks.
On the fitness activity tracking, the device seems to do a good job as well, since it can measure your pulse, it will know when you are running and for how long and in this way it would tell you the effects it will have on your body.
Bottom line, the gadget might need further improvement, especially in the counting calories area, as it doesn’t deliver useful enough data. And there is also the fact that it’s a device that requires interaction, despite its claims of “knowing everything”.
Image Source: Digital Trends
Image Source: Digital Trends
Image Source: Indiegogo
Image Source: Computer Nerds
Image Source: Digital Trends
Image Source: Blog Healbe
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