From time to time in my line of work, I get to test drive some of the latest fitness gadgets. For the past few weeks I have been wearing the new GoBe2 Fitness Tracker and I have to say it’s been a really fun experience.
GoBe2 is an innovative new tracker that is the only model on the market that tracks your calorific consumption, hydration level, sleep quality, stress levels, heart rate and daily steps, unlike most other trackers which only display steps and heart rate.
If you want to skip to the main points of the article, head to the bottom overview section.
Firstly, let’s look at the features on the tracker and then we can talk about the technology behind it.
Just in case you wondered, it does tell the time!
I am going to spend a little bit of time on this area, because my curiosity was peaked when I was told the tracker could analysis my calorific intake and expenditure for the day.
So let’s firstly clarify that the tracker does not exactly track the food you eat, you have to know there is a time lag. When you eat food, your glucose concentration rises then cells in your body will release water to absorb that glucose. The tracker uses technology and an internal algorithm to analyze this fluid moving in and out of the body cells to calculate your intake of calories. And here’s the thing, when you eat food it is not processed in the body immediately, so the tracker will not show the food you have just eaten, rather it shows up in the data when the food has gone through it’s normal metabolic processes which can take up to 6-8 hours.
Why is this better than counting calories?
When it comes to counting calories there are a number of pitfalls that people fall into:
Counting calories is not an exact science, in fact it is known to be flawed.
Not all the calories you consume get absorbed in your body.
It’s usually common for people to underestimate their daily intake
Individuals process food and therefore calories uniquely.
Packaged data usually has inaccurate calories and then the way you cook the food will alter the calorific intake even more.
Eating out or those few indulgences can be problematic to track and we usually end up guesstimating calories
Fitness trackers can be frustrating and time consuming to keep updated and I usually don’t recommend my clients to use them.
How energy balance works:
This product is ideal for those people who are looking for weight loss or weight maintenance and who don’t want to have to write down or input their food intake into an app. The app tells you what your energy balance is at the end of each day to help you determine how many calories you should be consuming.
If you eat more calories than you expend you will gain weight.
If you eat less calories than your expend you will lose weight.
If you eat the same number of calories that you expend then you maintain weight.
So for weight loss you are looking for a deficit in your calorific intake. For weight management you are looking for that energy balance.
This takes a bit of time to get used to, but over the weeks I have used the tracker I have to say that I am very impressed with data, finding it to be as accurate as I expected. And the bonus for me was that the food was broken down into the 3 separate macronutrients of carbohydrates, proteins and fats percentages which fell in line with what I consumed.
The data for your steps taken is based on arm movement, similar to other trackers, and calculated based on your height and step length which is in your profile. It’s worth noting that if you do an activity where your hands are still, then the distance number will not be accurate.
It’s never a bad thing to be reminded to take a drink of water. When your water levels are low, the tracker vibrates to remind you to drink. I very rarely get dehydrated, but on the few occasions I really appreciated the tracker telling me to drink!
The GoBe2 uses a parameter called pulse wave to measure the heart rate, similar to when you put your finger on your pulse and feel it beating. Unlike other trackers which use an LED type reader to monitor your heart rate, the tracker uses pressure sensors to monitor the blood flow throughout the arteries. My resting heart rate was completely accurate with the tracker.
The tracker told me daily that I had constant low stress, an output that I think my husband and kids might disagree with. The only time it did vibrate to tell me I was experiencing emotions was during a workout which would be accurate of course as I put my body under physical stress. Otherwise this was a feature that I never really used.
I am currently experiencing some wicked menopausal sleep cycles that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I am therefore a little bit obsessed with how often I am waking and the quality of my sleep. The GoBe2 monitors your sleep quality and efficiency and your REM sleep phases. The studies carried out by Healbe the creators of the GoBe2 have shown that their technology has an error rating of 3-5% compared with usual trackers error rates of 20-30%. Honestly this has been my favourite feature of the tracker.
The app allows you to set your personal information such as height and weight. It also has the ability to monitor weight and set weight loss goals if desired.
I am not a huge techy but for those who are, the GoBe2 is equipped with three different sensors;
PIEZO PRESSURE SENSOR: measures blood flow and heart rate
IMPEDANCE SENSOR: uses different frequencies to measure fluid levels in tissues
ACCELEROMETER: measures body movement and activity
The data from these three sensors is is then passed through the FLOW™ Technology using an algorithm to pass on the useful data to you.
The company are currently undergoing many studies using the GoBe2 tracker with the University of California, Davis, who specialize in diabetes research, so I am looking forward to seeing the results of these studies.
Some may think the design is a little clumpy or outdated, but I completely disagree. I really loved the way the tracker looked. It is a little bigger than the usual fitness trackers due to the presence of the 3 sensors that collect non-stop data. The display screen is very basic and does not display anything until you press the one button on the device, and then you scroll through the different displays simply by continuing to press the button.
The information displayed on the tracker itself is very minimal, in fact, I found that I simply used the tracker to tell the time, and instead used the app on my phone to analyse the data.
The battery life on the tracker is up to 18-24 hours, but I found that I had to charge it daily. So I got into the habit of taking it off at the same time each day and charging it for an hour before wearing it again.
The tracker is also waterproof.
App and Desktop Software
Where the tracker display is very basic, the mobile app and desktop app are very professionally done and make the whole experience so much more fulfilling. If you are a numbers nerd and enjoy analysing your data then this is going to rock your world. My favourite thing about the GoBe2 was waking up each morning and syncing the tracker with the app to see my previous days data.
Does it work? This worked for me. I think it’s a really cool product. really had a lot of fun trying out this new tracker. I thought it looked very cool and it started quite a few conversations with people in person and on my social media platforms. My kids also have taken a shine to it, so it looks like I have lost the use of this tracker for a while but will definitely be using it again.
A quick breakdown of the article above:
- Energy expenditure was pretty accurate for me, within the acceptable ranges.
- I loved that it showed my macro nutrient breakdowns of fat, protein and carbs.
- App is great and really fantastic data both daily and weekly for all areas.
- I love the design it felt futuristic and I looked like I was wearing a spy watch.
- Sleep monitor is so useful and very accurate especially as I have had a lot of disturbed sleep lately
- Distance is accurate compared to my Garmin tracker.
- Constant free software updates.
- Future features will allow you to share details with your trainer or nutritionist.
- Lastly it’s very handy to get constant reminders to drink water.
- Skin irritation – watch needs to be worn fairly tight to get responses from the sensors. I suggest wiping down the skin dry while it’s being charged.
- Not to be used for workouts, as steps are via arm movement.
- Battery life remember to charge it every day.
- You have to remember to turn it back on, which can be frustrating.