Amidst a flurry of releases of fitness bands-cum-activity trackers in the market, Goqii band, an Indian startup, turned heads with the price and services it offers. The company was formed under the leadership of Vishal Gondal, the CEO of Goqii and also known as the father of the Indian gaming industry. Here is our analysis of the band:
Design: The band, which is medium in terms of thickness, doesn’t break away from the routine design of an activity tracker. It has a core which can be fitted into either of the two bands that come with the box. There is a charger included and the core has to be removed from the band each time this is plugged in.
The core: The core is the central electronic unit which has a Bluetooth and pairs up with the user’s smartphone to track activities like distance walked or jogged and even sleep. The screen wakes up on being swiped and the user can check the duration of physical activity, distance travelled, number of calories burnt and the Karma points accumulated for a period of 24 hours. It also shows the amount of calories needed to be burnt to achieve the user’s fitness level. This is decided when the user sets up the band and enters the physical attributes like height and weight. Interestingly, the band can track sleep as well once the user manually puts it in the sleep mode and deactivates this on waking up.
The personal coach and app syndication: Where Goqii differs from most available bands is with its has a personal coach, combined with an app which helps the coach monitor the user’s lifestyle. The app, which is also available for Windows and Mac’s new operating system, has to fed data on the user’s food intake, water intake and running/cycling activity. A picture of the meal also works but a small description about the food has to be listed. The logic behind this is that the coach can figure out the calories on seeing the picture of the food or reading the description.
The band only synchronises with the smartphone when the user wants to, saving a lot of its battery life. The coach gets access to the data that the app has collected over the day and offers the most suitable solution or fitness tip that would aid the user maintain fitness levels and reach goals.
Users can chat with the coach via the app, which has a instant messaging-like platform or via email notifications. The app also offers Karma or goodwill points that the user can choose to donate to the social causes listed in the app.
Verdict: Goqii Life is aimed at serious goal-driven users and is not a casual fitness band. The coaches seems to know what they are talking about and are always ready to give sustainable solutions. While the band comes gratis, the subscription-based model allows the user to take advantage of the personal coach for six or 12 months. At Rs.6,999 for a six month subscription and Rs.11,999 for 12 months, including the personal coach, the Goqii Life is a more a on-the-go gymnasium. The user has the option of using it as a simple fitness band after the subscription is over.
Anirban Ghoshal / IANS