The GoBe wearable makes big claims, including automatic calorie tracking

The GoBe claims to be the first "100% automatic body manager" -- at CES 2015 manufacturer Healbe says it can even automatically track calorie intake with no user input required.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
2 min read

The GoBe by Healbe. Nic Healey/CNET

A lot of fitness trackers are capable of automatic step counting. A few more can automatically track sleep and even have a guess at what exercise you might be doing at any given time. Some new ones will feature automatic, continuous heart-rate tracking.

But when it comes to food logging -- especially calorie counting -- most of them require user input, a sometimes arduous process of finding the right entry in an often incomplete or country specific database.

Not so for the GoBe, says manufacturer Healbe at the 2015 International CES. Its wrist-mounted health tracker -- which it calls a "body manager" -- is 100 percent automatic, including calorie tracking.

It claims to count your calories for you by using an impedance sensor. The story goes that, after you eat, your glucose levels will begin to rise, which your cells will absorb while they release water. When that's happening, the GoBe is continually using its impedance sensor to shoot high- and low-frequency signals through your body tissue to measure the fluids moving in and out of your cells.

From there, Healbe's Flow Technology uses an "advanced algorithm" to analyse the impedance readings and create a picture of your daily nutrition, including automatic calorie count.

The rear panel of the GoBe, with sensor panel. Nic Healey/CNET

If we sound a little cautious in our language around these claims, it's because we haven't tested the device properly, but also because a few publications -- including The Verge -- have pointed out that Healbe hasn't published any peer-reviewed articles about this technology and the company does note that the GoBe isn't intended as a "medical device".

However, that didn't stop nearly 4,500 funders throwing just over $1 million at the device app via Indiegogo back in 2014.

Calories claims aside, the device certainly has a striking design. The front face has a grill-like surface that hides an LED display that can show you the time, calories consumed and burned, hydration levels, blood pressure and distance travelled.

GoBe app. Nic Healey/CNET

The app -- iOS and Android -- can give you a more detailed breakdown including your sleep patterns and even how much more water you need to consume based on your height, weight and activity level.

The device sat comfortably on the wrist, especially given its reasonably large size (maybe too large for people with delicate wrists?), and the double strap system of both a watch-style clasp and a strap peg means it's not going flying off your wrist anytime soon.

According to a spokesperson at the Healbe stand the GoBe battery lasts "about two days". Indiegogo backers should be getting their units very soon, with about a month's wait before it hits general online orders -- at that point you can pick it up for $299.

The GoBe wrist strap. Nic Healey/CNET