Should you stop counting calories and start tracking your food through sensors on your skin?
5th January 2015
2015 is set to be the year of healthier, more active lifestyles and the wearable tech industry is taking full advantage. The HealBe GoBe wristband has been developed to measure the wearer's calorie intake.
How does it work?
The wristband measures changes in glucose levels and liquid in the skin using three separate sensors. The pulse sensor measures heart rate, the accelerometer measures body movement and the bioimpedance sensor tracks your calorie intake.
The patented technology claims to show calories eaten as well as calories burned, which will help in weight loss.
Too good to be true?
The complicated sensor names along with the incredible promises given are enough to make anyone sceptical. In fact, a number of medical professionals have argued that measuring energy changed (assuming the wristband could accurately do this) still wouldn't be enough to give a reliable number for calorie intake.
The research that has been used to support the gadget was not only self-published but included a total of 6 participants and the calorie intake had a 15% (+/-) error rate. This is a very large error margin; if your goal is 1500 calories in a day that could mean a variance of 225 calories.
Although our skin can tell us a lot, it doesn't seem that it can be used as a weight management tool just yet. It is also likely that depending on your skin type and sensitivity, these sensors could vary greatly in accuracy, even more than 15%.