About 2 Years ago I was really into Kickstarer/Indiegogo – I supported several projects (mostly comics or gadgets) some came threw (Makey Makey) some did not (Ringbow).
At one day I’ve found an interesting in Indiegogo called Healbe GoBe which was described as “The Only Way to Automatically Measure Calorie Intake” – That sound too good to be true! But alas I’ve decided to support and try to get my hand on the device and ordered it.
Now a year and a half after the promised delivery date I finally got the device – and have been wearing it for the past 24 hours.
then how is it? lets find out:
The delay and scam speculation
Well Healbe GoBe Indiegogo campaign was in the beginning of 2014 with the estimation of delivery in June that year.
As the time progressed I’ve forgot about the project and moved on on other stuff.
Then some time after that near the end of 2014 I’ve remembered about this device pledge and started looking into it.
I was shocked – All the news about that device described that this is a big scam and no one could even produce this device.
As time progressed and little info updated from the company I was starting to count my losses and move on. From time to time I would look at the Indiegogo page to make sure if some advancement was made.
To my surprise few months ago people started getting their devices – my hope was raised.
Finally last week I was conducted by FedEx announcing there is a shipment from Hong Kong to me – I was Excited to try this thing!
Pledge for reward – Double edge sword
There is a big issue with kickstarter and Indiegogo (and probably more sites like them) – People pledge for rewards thinking they will get the product – The issue is that this was never guaranteed at any point and at any place – due to the fact that most of the project are pledges for non existing products! Most of the project I’ve supported came in the end and said – “We where mistaken when we have created this project – the money/time/resources/technology didn’t cut it – this will result in bad product/delays/request for more money/canceling of the project ….” – and some didn’t even respond.
So when I pledge for a project I expect that it might not succeed and even if it is the product will be much less then I had expected or described b y the project creator.
Then what about the Healbe GoBe project?
First – now after awaiting for so long for this device – people had been beating the device and the company even before they lay their hand on the device for not always a good reason and fair of mind.
Second – Healbe probably made a huge mistake in their assessment of the advancement of the product manufacturing testing and shipping – Thus the issues people described – the long wait for the devices and lack of support.
Third – This is a new technology that appearing in the market for the first time – and not from well known company with much deep pockets – we need to give this company it’s chance
The Device and Packeging
After opening the box excitedly I’ve found a marvelous designed box – both practical and elegant.
The box and the packaging is minimal and slick – giving the device a very respectable look.
In the package I’ve found:
- The device – already placed in it’s band
- Extra purple band – I don’t like the plastic/rubber bands and they don’t survive as much as I would like – that is good that this device come with a spare one for any case.
- Magnetic Charger – This is very good thinking on their behalf (I will explain later on)
- Micro USB cable
- Little book that explain the installation and basic usages
But what about the device itself?
Well I can tell 2 things about it:
One – it is not gonna win any beauty pageant.
Two – It is really BIG! No seriously I think it’s same size or larger then the smart watches.
But hay – It is it’s calorie intake that makes it special – not it’s size or beauty.
After unpacking – installing the app from the play store (iphone app also available) you will need to create an account (all the data is being controlled in their site so you can use multiple hand held devices with the same GoBe) – the information needed to set for the account is vast and probably used in their algorithms (well some of their info – I skipped my address)
Then I’ve sat down to connect my device for the first time and let me tell you disappointment – the device directly started updating and got stuck in the update procedure.
Being all “I will solve this” guy I took my time and found a solution on how to update the device correctly (See Appendix in the end of the post on how to probably fix this issue)
I must say – For me this was a very irritating moment – I tried to activate my new device and it wouldn’t work no matter what – for me it’s a challenge – but for most people this is a hassle and will deem the device broken.
This must be addressed fast by Healbe or people will crucify them even more.
Operation – App and Device
The device itself is very basic – some led indication (not much readable) – that can tell you the Time, Battery Percent, Steps, Distance, Calories balance and some more – but it’s very simple.
Other then that the device just sits there – but heck this is what it was supposed to do – just monitor my readings.
The application is very nice and slick – with some nice enough features. It is simple to operate and understand.
One thing that the GoBe needed to do was to Automatically log your calorie intake – due to that some people got really annoyed that Healbe announced that you will need to click on a button for 3 second before you eat a meal (or on every other dish/serving) – Although this is not fully automatic – crying about pressing a button 5-10 times a day is nothing trying to calculate the calorie intake by manually logging what you have eaten. This didn’t bother me at least.
Now we have come to one of the most important issue with the device – the battery just don’t hold a charge.
The device battery will last about 12~16 hours of simple use (I’ve pressed the button several times in the day and only 10 syncs altogether)
This issue is very problematic due to the need to constantly charge the device – just like my phone – but unlike my phone – this device can’t be on my wrist when I charge it.
I was using mi band before that lasted about 30 days – The difference is staggering.
Saying that – There is a light in the end of the tunnel – The charging is super fast – For example: tonight I’ve got home after more then 12 hours outside and the GoBe was at ~25% battery – I’ve set it on charging and went to the shower.
I’ve got out less then 10 minutes later the device was at 75%.
I’ve found that 20 Minutes of charge (more or less) will suffice for 100% battery – So although a hassle, the short battery life won’t prevent almost full use of the device (Day and Sleep)
I’ve found myself charging it twice a day – in the morning when I wake up and in the evening when I shower/watch TV.
I hope that Healbe team will solve this issue with software update.
Another gripe with people was that charging the device is not working – This due to the fact that the charging cradle is very low and the device band is very strong – resulting in the need to press hard on the device with something heavy.
I found this it just funny – Due to the fact that the charging cradle is magnetic all I’ve needed to do is to put the device on the side – the cradle will stay put and charge the device!
24 Hours with the GoBe – Did it actually did what is was meant to do?
After 24 hours playing with the device I’m not quite sure if I’m happy with it or not. The device have a lot of corks and issues – and some of the things actually don’t work (the water intake – although I’m not sure it was supposed to be automatically or not)
To my untrained eye – the GoBe did do it’s job – It registered my calorie intake and and spending quite correct to my calculations – but I will need to be checking this device for more time to make sure its doing what it supposed to do.
I’ll keep on using the device – and will post a 2 month use review.
Will the device work properly? Will it live up to it’s expectation? This remained to be seen.
Appendix: How to (probably) solve the endless update cycle in the first GoBe connection
Disclaimer: Any suggestion here is only a suggestion and following it is on your own risk! These tasks might result in the device being inoperable! So follow on your own risk!
When I’ve tried to update my GoBe for the first time I’ve found that it get stuck on 0% and the logo of the GoBe got “filled” about quarter.
Tried this for a long time but nothing changed.
All this time the device was connected to charging and showing “CHARGING” on the panel.
After some tweaking I’ve found that the device goes to sleep very fast in the configuration mode – The app didn’t actually connected to the device properly.
Here is what you need to do – Connect the device to the charging cradle and power up the device while in the cradle (if need shut it down before) – This should result in writing on the device:
“CHARGING” followed by “GOBE GOBE”
Then start the app and try to connect to the GoBe (fast before the device goes to sleep) – then the update should start and the device screen change to “CHARGING” followed by “UPDATE” – then the update should work – It took me the better part of an hour to do this update.
After the update get’s to 100% the device will restart and vibrate twice – After that it will return to the “CHARGING” and “GOBE GOBE”
The app should get stuck in searching of in updating – close the app and start it again – it will do another update – this time it will be much faster.
And here is what I think then going on – The device is being updated several versions one after another (but no indication of which version is now updating)
Also I think that some of the updates are not activated only after the device had restarted but It won’t restart automatically after the first big update.
So here is my suggestion at this point – Make sure after an update got to 100% – close the app and restart the device.
The check the device screen – If it say HELLO you have successfully managed to finish the update – Otherwise – keep on doing this – I’ve did more then 20 updates – some might have been real updates some might be not.
Also just a disclaimer – The last update I did without the charger – This might be reason it succeeded – It might be that the charger disrupt the update/restart process and the process will work only without the charger.
Hope you succeed!