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Wearable Tech

Controversial wearable GoBe is back with a new look and new tricks

The next model of the wearable fitness tracker makes the same extraordinary claims about calorie tracking as the original, but now with a brand new design.

healbe-gobe-12.jpg

The GoBe 1.2 (right) compared to the original.

Nic Healey/CNET

If you're a fanatic about fitness wearables, and who isn't these days, then you'll have probably heard of the Healbe GoBe. This crowd-funded, wrist-mounted wearable proved to be a, shall we say, controversial product at CES 2015.

This was thanks to the manufacturer's claim that the product will automatically calculate calorie intake from food via an impedance sensor that measured the flow of fluids in and out of your cells, which is then used to calculate the nutritional value of what you've eaten. More on that in a moment.

At CES 2016, Healbe has the GoBe 1.2. This is still in prototype stage, with the company saying that they expect it be on sale in June for around $249, fifty bucks less than the original. (That's roughly £170 or AU$350.)

The new model is thinner, lighter and made of new materials. The aluminium casing has been replaced with plastic to make the device weigh less and provide better Bluetooth connectivity. A new accelerometer will offer more accurate activity tracking and the charging port is easier to access -- something that had been a bugbear for users of the older model.

GoBe 1.2GoBe 1.0
Size0.66 x 1.35 x 2.25 inches ( 17 x 34 x 57 mm) 0.76 x 1.38 x 2.26 inches (19 x 35 x 58 mm)
Weight1.62 ounces (46g)2.15 ounces (60g)

New features on the 1.2 include a galvanic skin response sensor to get an idea of your stress levels and a glycaemic food index measurement -- basically the GoBe says it can let you know what your last meal did to your insulin levels. This is in addition to all the original features such as activity and sleep tracking, heart rate, hydration levels and more.

It looks neat, but to be honest I quite liked that silver grill-style face of the original. The new matte grey and black looks a little more generic. It's also still pretty bulky compared to other fitness trackers and even compared to smartwatches.

Just quickly back to the automated calorie counter. It's a bold claim and, as I pointed out when I looked at the original GoBe last year, one that hadn't been peer-reviewed or particularly well tested. Since then there's been a few different reviews which have been completely mixed: I've seen one say that the feature works quite well and another that said the complete opposite. As we used to say, your mileage may vary.

Where to Buy

Healbe GoBe 1.2

Visit manufacturer site for details.

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