The Healbe GoBe is the most contentious wearable, according to the majority of individuals. The promise piques one’s interest. “Tell it nothing, track everything,” is the advice often given. That right there is the Holy Grail of tracking one’s health and fitness.
It’s embarrassing to confess, but the GoBe was one of the first fitness bands that got us seriously interested in the category. Back in 2014, it made its debut on Indiegogo as the first and only wearable device of its kind to automatically track both the calories you ingest and the calories you burn. It was unbelievable how good it sounded to be real.
The gadget was successful in capturing the interest of the general public and was able to generate more than one million dollars through the crowdfunding platform. To Healbe’s credit, the Russian company did produce a product, despite the fact that some people believed it to be a hoax, other people doubted the technology, and some people asked for their funds back.
After a three-year hiatus, Healbe has returned with an updated version of the GoBe.In the same way as its predecessor, the GoBe 2 keeps track of your calorie consumption as well as your level of hydration and provides some fundamental fitness statistics. In contrast to past generations of the product, it is not necessary to inform the wearable device when you have eaten. At least, that is what is claimed. Everything is recorded and kept track of for you automatically. It also has some more sensors and other design enhancements that have been included.
These days, there are literally dozens of different fitness trackers on the market, but they all track the majority of the same data. The competitors of Healbe are only able to count steps and monitor pulse rate; they are unable to count calories or determine the state of hydration of the user.
Imagine for a moment that you will never again need to manually log the calories you consume since the gadget on your wrist will handle it all for you. If it works, it will completely transform the game. Because of this, I decided to test the effectiveness of an unusual fitness band by using it for an entire month.
The Design and Construction of the Healbe GoBe 2
The fitness wristband, charging station, charging cable, and a short instruction manual are included in the box with the GoBe 2 when it is delivered. Even though the wearable and its flexible, changeable wristband are a bit more elegant than the first, they still have a bit of a retro look.
GoBe stands out because of its size, which is approximately 5.8 centimetres across and 3.8 centimetres wide. It has a thickness of approximately 1.6 centimetres, which leads some to believe that it is quite large. Because onlookers won’t be fooled into thinking it’s a watch, you should be prepared to field some inquiries from people who are intrigued by it. I wore it on my right wrist so I could compare how well it worked to the Forerunner 935 watch I was wearing on my left wrist at the same time.
In terms of aesthetics, the equipment in question is not even close to being considered for any kind of recognition. It was a good thing that it was chilly outside since I decided to wear it tucked inside my sleeve. Having said that, I did find the monitor to be light and comfortable due to the fact that its plastic covering makes it an extremely light device.
The dot-matrix display that sits atop GoBe is a vibrant shade of blue. It is turned off by default so that you may save battery life, but you can turn it on by pressing the physical button on the right. When you click the button many times, the display will cycle through the time, the battery level, the current heart rate, the calorie balance, the steps, and other information. Because the screen is difficult to read, I found myself using the app most of the time to evaluate the daily information. In addition, there is an online dashboard that provides a more in-depth look. Both the mobile app and the website dashboards do a great job of showing you the most important information.
The gold sensor that is located on the underside of the trackers needs to be in close contact with your skin in order for it to provide accurate data. In the event that there is an issue, GoBe will notify you by vibrating and displaying the message “NO CONTACT” on the screen. You could also use the app as a guide to see if you’re wearing it right.
You won’t find the normal list of sensors under the hood of this vehicle. Instead, the wearable device contains an accelerometer, which can detect both action and movement of the body; a piezo pressure sensor, which can measure both blood circulation and pulse rate; and an impedance detector, which employs a variety of wavelengths to determine the amount of fluid in tissues. A gyroscope, a magnetometer, and a galvanic skin reaction sensor are also used to measure stress levels.
I’ll do my best to keep the scientific lecture to a manageable length. When it comes to keeping track of calories, the bio-impedance sensor is the component that stands out as being the most essential. The GoBe 2 analyzes changes in the glucose levels in your body by combining its measurements with a unique technology called FLOW Technology. When there is a spike in glucose levels, the cells take in more glucose and release more water. The impedance sensor will detect the amount of fluid that is going into and out of your cells by sending high-frequency and low-frequency pulses throughout your tissues. After getting this information and putting it in order, the system uses some complicated algorithms to look at it and figure out how many calories were eaten. According to GoBe, that is the prevailing theory.
The majority of diabetes patients’ hope is for glucose monitoring that does not require any intrusive procedures. A great number of businesses have spent years attempting to find a solution to the issue, but they have not had any success in the real world. It has been reported that Apple is working on a solution. However, insiders familiar with the project have stated that it is still many years away from being a commercial product. As part of its efforts on this front, the company based in Cupertino has even recruited a group of over 200 individuals who hold doctoral degrees.
The most natural question to ask is why Healbe does not make any effort to commercialize this technology. Something that can automatically count calories should make them richer than they could have imagined.
According to the business, this is because GoBe is not designed for medical applications and does not satisfy the requirements for accuracy in medical settings. This is also why the gadget does not show the user the glucose levels currently being measured. However, GoBe’s precision is adequate for calculating the number of calories consumed.
In order to get the most out of the battery capacity, you will need to get in the habit of charging it every single day. During the course of the day, I would normally plug it into the charger for about an hour so that the battery could maintain its level. It is possible to use it for up to forty-eight hours on a single charge. To ensure that you do not lose track of any significant data while charging, you will need to give some consideration to the timing of your charging sessions. The dock is magnetically attached to the unit’s base to keep it in place. When the device is fully charged, it will vibrate, and the lighting on the back of the chargers will change from blue to red to indicate that it is operational.
It is imperative that you do not forget to push the power button after you have reattached the device to your wrist. If you don’t do it, your GoBe won’t be able to track anything. On other occasions, I’ve been so careless that I’ve wasted a few hours wandering around aimlessly without realizing that the device wasn’t taking any data.
The Features and Functionalities of the Healbe GoBe 2
This is a fitness tracker that, similar to other fitness bands, keeps track of the number of steps taken and the travel distance, as well as the user’s pulse rate, the total amount of calories expended, and the quality of their sleep. However, GoBe 2 makes an effort to advance beyond its predecessor by displaying a value for the number of calories digested, as well as the water balance and emotional experience. In the past, there was even a test version of a blood pressure reading feature, but it was ultimately eliminated.
After removing the device from its packaging and charging it, you will need to download the app for either iOS or Android and enter your personal information, including your weight and height, into it. It is important to keep in mind that in order for GoBe to gather enough data to reach optimal accuracy, it can take up to two weeks of wearing the tracker for at least 12 to 18 hours every day. You will immediately begin to receive readings. However, the accuracy of these readings is not guaranteed. As a result, I paid relatively little attention to the information for the first few weeks but started paying a lot more attention to what was going on after that.
As previously stated, you can access your most recent daily metrics from the device itself. On the other hand, you will probably find yourself using the app a lot more often because it shows your important information in a much more elegant way and gives you more information. In the end, I could only tell how much charge was left in the battery by looking at the dot matrix screen.
You can navigate between the daily overview, your weight (which can be retrieved immediately by connecting to a third-party source), the page that displays your device’s status, and your user profile by using the tabs that run along the bottom of the mobile application. The everyday summary is broken down into five segments: the Energy Balance portion, the Hydration Level portion, the Heart Rate segment, the Sleep segment, and the Stress Level segment. When you tap on any of these, you will be taken to a new screen that has a great deal more information.
According to Healbe, the customer service line is the place where people have the most difficulty understanding the calorie tracking tool. The GoBe2 only records the calories that are digested and not those that are ingested. This distinction between the two cannot be emphasized enough because there is a significant gap between the two.
The process of moving food through your gastrointestinal tract might take anywhere from 12 to 72 hours. The precise amount of time required is dependent on the quantities and kinds of foods that you have consumed. The rate can also be affected by variables like your sex, metabolism, and the presence or absence of digestive disorders that can either slow down the process or speed it up. Candies and other highly processed, sugary junk foods, like candy bars, are among the quickest foods to digest. They won’t last more than a few hours before your body has completely metabolized them, leaving you feeling hungry once more.
The Energy Balance screen provides you with a single number that indicates whether you have expended more calories than you may have ingested on a specific day. This number is calculated by combining the information from the activity tracker and the calorie monitor. The computation is arrived at by the app by adding up all of the calories that you have digested and then deducting both your resting metabolic rate and the calories that you have expended through activity. The conclusion will be expressed as a positive or negative number. A positive number indicates that you are putting on weight, whereas a negative number indicates that you are losing weight. You will also receive an estimation of the absorption of nutrients, which will tell you what percentage of the consumption was composed of fat, carbs, and protein, respectively.
A continuous graph that does an excellent job of illustrating your metabolic functions runs at the top of the page. This also needs to take into account other elements, as metabolic processes are dependent not only on the food that is ingested but also on other things such as physical exercise, stress, sleep, and other things.
In order to come up with estimates of the number of calories consumed, GoBe examines the levels of glucose present in your cells. During digestion, your cells take in the glucose and move water into the bloodstream. The amount of glucose absorbed by your body is influenced by the amount of fat and protein in the food you eat, which results in the “glucose curve” having a variety of shapes and lengths. Continuously and continuously, around the clock, the impedance sensor is used by the gadget to monitor the fluid that is going into and out of your cells.
The question that everyone wants the answer to, of course, is whether or not GoBe2 can actually determine what you’ve eaten and how much you’ve consumed.
To be honest, I was still sceptical.
I began by writing down the number of calories that I ingested on a regular basis. However, I immediately realized that this was an endeavour that was doomed to fail. The fact that this can take as long as three days for the body to digest the food that is eaten is the primary challenge that must be overcome. Therefore, even if you try to perform a fasting study, GoBe may still indicate that you consumed calories because the body continues to perform all of its tasks utilizing its own internal resources. And even though I needed to do it for the purpose of this article, I really didn’t have to go without food for more than three days! Nevertheless, it would make for a fascinating experiment…
Carl Sagan is the one who brought the phrase “exceptional claims deserve extraordinary evidence” into common usage. In subsequent years, this became widely known as the Sagan standard. Although Healbe does present proof, I am not certain that this evidence can be considered “exceptional evidence.” It references a test that was carried out by an independent party known as the Saint Petersburg State Institute of Health, Medical, and Sports Clinic. People in St. Petersburg, Russia, think of this clinic as the best place for sports medicine.
To make a long story short, during the course of the study, a total of 44 tests were carried out over the course of five days on five different people. Researchers from a Russian university discovered that GoBe accurately detected both calorie consumption and calorie expenditure to within +/- 15.6 per cent and +/- 6.6 per cent, respectively.
Since I do not have any degrees in science, I am unable to confirm or deny if it is possible to monitor the number of calories digested by monitoring the amount of fluid that enters and exits cells. However, the fact that Healbe just struck a five-year deal with the Foods for Health Institute at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), lends the technology a little bit more credibility than it might otherwise have had. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether or not sophisticated personal fitness trackers may be utilized to assist in the development of health solutions that are based on precision. I will be very interested to see what the research shows.
When it came to the number of calories that were expended, the wearable device gave what appeared to be completely arbitrary readings, in my opinion. Due to the fact that I did not have faith in the figures, I did not find them to be very useful.
The hydration capabilities of this fitness band were another aspect of the device that piqued my interest. There is no other fitness tracker or wristwatch that calculates the amount of fluid you consume. The introduction of the crowdsourced LVL has been pushed back by one year, despite the fact that we were told it would occur in the summer of 2018. Following a few updates, its backers have suddenly been met with a wall of silence regarding the project.
But to return to GoBe 2: On a graph, similar to the one that displays your calorie consumption, you may continuously monitor your level of hydration. In the end, the device was completely fixated on the idea of persuading me to consume more water. Several times throughout the day, the activity tracker would remind me to drink extra water or other fluids. As someone who is the first to confess that they do not consume enough water, this can only be viewed as a positive development. On the other hand, it revealed that my hydration level was deficient 99 per cent of the time, which I find difficult to accept. In spite of this, it serves as a useful prompt to drink more water.
Monitoring one’s stress levels are gaining more and more popularity. These days, the majority of Garmin devices use signals from the heart rate variability sensor to calculate and evaluate levels of stress. This is done on a continuous basis in order to provide you with a chronology of your stress measurements within the mobile app on your smartphone. Your skin’s wetness can tell GoBe 2 a lot about how stressed you are. The level of tension is relative to the quantity of moisture present. The tracker does a fairly good job on this count and identifies times of calm, low, and moderate stress, as well as emotional strain.
In addition to these metrics, the wearable device also provides your heart rate throughout the day. It does a decent job of tracking your resting heart rate as well as your heart rate during low-intensity exercises. However, similar to the accuracy of many other fitness trackers, its accuracy decreases as you engage in high-intensity activities. Even though it underestimated the total amount of time I spent sleeping when compared to the Forerunner 935, the GoBe performs a respectable job of monitoring your slumber. You will get information about how long you slept and how many times you woke up during the night. You will also get a percentage score that shows how good and effective your sleep was.
Last but not least, there is a slick web dashboard that provides a comprehensive breakdown of your daily statistics. You can also enrol yourself in a weekly newsletter displaying your development over the past 7 days.
The Final Verdict: Concluding Thoughts on the Healbe GoBe 2
I had a lot of hopes and expectations for GoBe 2, but on the other hand, I didn’t really expect that much from it. In the end, I was left feeling let down, and I am by no means sure that their technique is effective.
To begin with, the device’s overall design is one that could most surely use some improvement. It was not an issue for me to wear it underneath my sleeve. But it’s the kind of thing that would make me feel awkward if I wore it with a shirt that only had short sleeves.
If you’ve ever tried to keep track of the calories you consume using an app like My Fitness Pal, you already know what a chore this can be. The majority of people consider giving up after only a few days or weeks. I made an effort to complete the task, but I gave up on it almost the very same day.
The GoBe 2 is an effort to create a fitness band that can do this function on your behalf. I discovered that it was not a very excellent one. I didn’t put much stock in the numbers it was providing, and because they were computed in such a way (with a time lag), there is no way to demonstrate whether or not the technology is effective.
Aside from that, you will receive the standard information for fitness tracking. You would get the same numbers with every other wearable, even devices that are a lot less expensive. You could even purchase yourself a respectable sports watch from a well-known manufacturer for the cost of a GoBe, which, in my view, would be a lot better investment than purchasing a GoBe.