If you could keep track of the calories in your food as you ate them, would you pay attention? The new Healbe GoBe wristband, shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, attempts to count calories in real time.
Because picturing a rapidly increasing number as you eat that glazed doughnut does seem like it would help with those new year's resolutions.
In addition to counting your calorie intake, the wristband is also designed to keep track of calories burned, distance traveled (similar to a Fitbit or other pedometers), stress level, blood pressure, heart rate and hydration levels. The device connects to an accompanying smartphone app that shows the data.
A team from BBC decided to test the wristband at the show. The test involved eating half a cheese and turkey sandwich (125 calories), a small Snickers chocolate bar (220 calories), and drinking a bottle of apple juice (210 calories) for a total of 555 calories.
The BBC reported the calorie counter kicked in within 15 minutes of eating, but took around two and a half hours to get the final calorie count, which was 514 calories. And according to the reporter, the counter continued to rise after the experiment had concluded.
Production of the wristband was funded through an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign online. The company's goal was to raise $100,000. They ended up raising more than $1 million.
According to information on its website, the wristband works by using an algorithm that analyzes data using three sensors, including a bioimpedance sensor meant to measure calorie intake.
When you eat, carbohydrates are turned into glucose in your blood. Cells absorb the glucose and use it for energy, displacing liquid in the process. The bioimpedance sensor measures the change in glucose and liquid in your cells.
Other devices use the same type of sensors, but HealBe claims it is the first to use the sensors to calculate calorie intake.
The devices are scheduled to go on sale at the end of the month, at a price of $299.99 on the Healbe website.